International Emergency Psychiatry Challenges: Disaster Medicine, War, Human Trafficking, Displaced Persons

Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2017 Sep;40(3):565-574. doi: 10.1016/j.psc.2017.05.015.


Mental health disorders are a major cause of morbidity and a growing burden in low-income and middle-income countries; but there is little existing literature on the detailed epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment in low-resource settings. Special situations with vulnerable populations, such as those created by international humanitarian emergencies, refugees or internally displaced people, and victims of human trafficking, are increasing in prevalence. These victims are often resettled in developed countries and come to the emergency department seeking care. To better care for these populations, knowledge of specialized psychosocial and cultural considerations should inform the comprehensive psychiatric assessment and treatment plan.

Keywords: Conflict; Disaster; Displaced persons; International psychiatry; Trafficking.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Culturally Competent Care
  • Disaster Medicine / statistics & numerical data*
  • Emergency Services, Psychiatric*
  • Human Trafficking / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Internationality
  • Refugees*
  • Warfare*