Mental Health and the Psychological Impacts of War on Individuals, Families, and Communities in Yemen

January 2017

The Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies and the Columbia Law School Human Rights Clinic are jointly undertaking an interdisciplinary, mixed methods investigation and human rights advocacy project to address the adverse effects of armed conflict on the mental health of individuals, families and communities in Yemen, to bring mental health concerns into Yemen’s peace and reconciliation processes, and to strengthen recognition of the human right to mental health in Yemen and internationally.

To address current gaps in research and advocacy on mental health in Yemen, this project is carrying out a study of the impacts of war on mental health in the country and the correlation this has with the human rights of those affected; conducting targeted advocacy with government and non-governmental organizations, as well as UN agencies, to increase awareness of and focus on mental health issues, foster improved mental health policies, laws, and services, develop the international norm for the right to mental health, and to incorporate mental health considerations into the Yemen peace and reconciliation processes.

This project is also using media outreach strategies with the Yemeni public to raise awareness of mental health issues, counter social stigma and discrimination associated with mental health issues, and to promote more progressive attitudes and community support for persons psychologically affected by conflict in Yemen.