Each month we will be hosting a lecture on healing from Disastershock by an international expert.


The Integration of Mental Health and Psychosocial Supports in Refugee Camp Settings: Increasing Access for Rohingya Refugees Through Primary Care NGOs

Saturday October 24, 2020   

9:00-9:45 am Pacific Standard Time (USA)

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In her lecture Stephanie will describe how she developed a mental health program for Rohingya refugees in the world's largest refugee camp. There are currently more than 1.1 million Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh who have fled persecution in Myanmar.

Stephanie Richard holds a Master’s Degree in International Development and Humanitarian Aid Management from the University of Laval in Quebec, Canada. A strong advocate for social justice and human rights, her career has been dedicated to promoting access to mental health services within marginalized populations. Since graduating from her Bachelor of Social Work in 2015, Stephanie has been involved in multiple projects on both national and international forums. Fighting for equality for individuals who have severe and persistent mental health disorders is the foundation of her practice and she continues to show her commitment to the enhancement of mental health services globally. In 2015, Stephanie served as a social work consultant in a psychiatric NGO located in West Africa. This work experience abroad fostered her interest for international development. More recently, Stephanie led the development of a mental health and psychosocial program aimed at supporting Rohingya refugees and host communities in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Her work was grounded in the belief that all human beings have the right to dignity and access to quality mental health services. This project was executed in the world’s largest refugee camp, where Stephanie spent six months collaborating with community members and international stakeholders to support the launch of this program. The program is still running to this day and Stephanie remains involved in an advisory capacity and continues to contribute to on-the-ground research on post-partum depression among refugee women. She is currently residing in the Canadian Arctic and working as a Territorial mental health training and development specialist with the Government of Nunavut’s Department of health. Stephanie’s role is focused on the expansion of an Inuit workforce to better address mental health needs across the Territory. Her current work is aligned with her ongoing dedication to building capacity within rural and isolated remote communities.

Read this recent World Health Organization article describing the mental health program Stephanie developed for Rohingya refugees.


For further information about Disastershock or joining the Disastershock Global Response Team, please email us:   

Dr. Brian Gerrard gerrardb@usfca.edu | Dr. Sue Linville Shaffer drsueshaffer@gmail.com.

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