Discussion guide 4: Non-western concepts of mental health

Author: Dr Alcinda Honwana
UNHCR.(1998).Refugee children:Guidelines on
protection and care.Geneva:UNHCR.

This discussion guide examines non-western concepts of mental health, speci´Čücally from Mozambique and Angola.It looks at the ways in which mental health and illness can be understood outside the framework of western biomedical paradigms.It discusses how mental health is understood by local people,how it relates to war and other social crises,and what kinds of therapeutic strategies people use to deal with the social and emotional problems caused by deep social crisis.

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