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What you will learn

What you will learn

Welcome to the University of Glasgow’s PTSD in the Global Context online course. A team of experts in global mental health, psychology and psychiatry have collaborated to create these learning materials.

It may be valuable to collate some notes for personal reflection, so please take a moment before starting the course to consider how and where you intend to record your learning notes. Each week, you will have access to a range of activities and a number of ‘discussion’ steps provide an opportunity to collaborate with peers as you become familiar with key concepts, debates and themes.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recognises the important mental health consequences of trauma and loss. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can occur after a traumatic event. The UN estimates that more than 79.5 million people worldwide have been forcibly displaced by violence and conflict. This is the highest number of people affected since World War 2. The mental health and wellbeing of people affected by humanitarian emergencies are becoming increasingly recognised as being important.

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We hope you will find this course useful, engaging and thought-provoking, and that the knowledge acquired will ultimately give you the confidence to apply your learning to real-world settings and open conversations about this important topic.

The intended learning outcomes for this course are to:

  • Define trauma and PTSD, and identify core PTSD symptomatology
  • Understand variations in PTSD rates and presentation across the lifespan and across the globe
  • Explain the role of biological, socio-cultural and psychological factors in PTSD
  • Explain pertinent diagnostic challenges in PTSD, and articulate approaches for facilitating help-seeking and recovery
  • Describe and critically assess evidence-based strategies for treatment and prevention of PTSD


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Content and concepts discussed as part of this course may be distressing to some people. We would like to emphasise the importance of looking after your own wellbeing when engaging with the course materials. As you review the learning resources consider when it might be beneficial for you to take a short break from your work. The University of Glasgow wants to ensure that all students’ mental health is protected. To support students there are self-care activities embedded in some weeks of the course.

Seeking Help From Others

While completing the course, if you’re feeling distressed, in despair or suicidal, it’s important to tell someone. Please seek help from your doctor, a key worker or family and friends. Helpline services allow you to talk to people in confidence and confidentially. There is a comprehensive list of support options.

‘Self-care’ are activities designed to support physical and mental fitness. Self-care is an important part of every individual’s overall health. It can be as simple as eating and sleeping well, as well as practical activities to help tackle emotional challenges. Given the sensitive nature of this course please engage with self-care activities. Self-care tips are available through the following websites: Blurt it Out and Take 5 to Save Lives.


Take a little time to think about a song which inspires, motivates, uplifts, makes you smile or that has helped you through a difficult time. It would be lovely if you would share details of this song with others in the course, simply add the artist’s name and the song name to the comments section below.

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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the Global Context

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