Conflicts Victims

Ms Sabina Appiah-Boateng, a doctoral candidate at the Department of Peace Studies of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), has said victims of conflicts need psycho-social support to facilitate healing.

She said the negative emotions of conflicts, including high anxiety and depression were correlated.

Ms Appiah-Boateng was speaking at a roundtable on “Conflicts and mental nexus, implications for sustainable conflict management in Ghana.

The discussion was organised to discuss the findings of her research into the psychological causes of conflicts, the psycho-social effects and coping strategies.

The project was supported by the SDG Graduate School with funds from the German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD).

Ms Appiah-Boateng said victims of conflicts, wars and violence experienced various forms of psychological illness, which often led to reduced satisfaction in life.

She said stakeholders had not looked into the psychosocial effects of conflicts and that had left many victims to live with traumatic experiences without help and support.

The findings showed that the psychological causes of conflicts go beyond thoughts and feelings to include socio-cultural dimensions.

Ms Appiah-Boateng said a way out was to strengthen social cohesion, encourage inclusiveness, manage diversity, and prevent destructive behaviour.

Panellists at the roundtable decried the absence of effective social support systems and called for a coordinated effort to tackle mental health issues in the country.

They urged the government to commit adequate resources to address the psychosocial needs of the people.

The panellists included Dr Patrick Osei Kuffour, the Immediate past Head of Department (HoD) of Peace Studies, Dr Kofi Krafona, a Clinical Psychologist, Department of Psychology and Dr Kwadwo Tuffour, Head of Department, Department of Peace Studies.

It was moderated by Professor Stephen Kandie, a Research Professor at the Department of Peace Studies, UCC.

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