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Welcome to week 1

A welcome message from your instructors.

A warm welcome to the first week of your “Qualitative Research Methods for Mental Health in War and Conflict” course. We are your course instructors, Hanna Kienzler and Nancy Tamimi from King’s College London and Weeam Hammoudeh from Birzeit University. We have worked together for several years to better understand the complex links between war, social suffering and mental health. This course is designed to help you identify such links and to establish research topics using a range of qualitative methods.

We recognise there is a lack of research led by local researchers in the field of mental health in contexts of war and conflict. Most available research is published by scholars working in high-income country institutions. Meanwhile, the research and experiences of scholars, NGO workers and health practitioners living and working in war-affected settings is under-represented. Our aim is to increase their representation by making research methods training more widely available, especially to those living and working in war-affected settings. Consequently, we hope that research projects will be led, carried out and disseminated by local experts in collaboration with international colleagues.

In week 1, we introduce you to the key concepts related to war and violence, social suffering and mental health. Next, you will learn about the ethical concerns related to conducting research with people who live in vulnerable circumstances. Finally, we discuss the process of qualitative research and its application in the mental health field. To start, please read the Introduction, Housekeeping, and Survey induction. This will outline the key aspects of the course and ask for your feedback in an introductory survey.

We hope you find the course engaging and look forward to hosting you in the coming weeks.

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