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Briefing Paper Panel

Improving Access to Evidence-Based Interventions for Trauma-Exposed Adults in Low- And Middle-Income Countries

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In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) trauma exposure poses a substantial burden, yet the need for trauma-focused mental health treatment remains largely unmet. To unlock the potential for mental health care for trauma survivors in these regions, it is critical to identify obstacles to treatment access and to map the availability of empirically supported, culturally adapted, and scalable trauma-focused interventions.

ISTSS's upcoming briefing paper on this topic will propose an action framework to optimize access to effective, contextually responsive treatments for trauma-affected adults in lower-resource settings. Join our panelists for insights from the briefing paper, which will review structural and attitudinal treatment barriers faced by trauma-affected adults in LMICs, the current evidence base for interventions for this population, and the potential for implementation and scalability.

Dr. Duane D. Booysen, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist and senior lecturer in the Department ‎of Psychology at Rhodes University. Dr. Booysen’s research interest explores the effectiveness, ‎feasibility, and acceptability of prolonged exposure therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder in ‎low resourced settings. Dr. Booysen is a Y-2 Rated researcher and a visiting scholar at Emory ‎University in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. ‎

Christian Kristensen, PhD, is a Professor of Psychology at the Graduate Program in Psychology, ‎Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil (PUCRS) and ‎Director of the Center for Studies and Research in Traumatic Stress ‎‎(NEPTE-PUCRS/Brazil). His current organizational affiliations include ‎ISTSS, the Brazilian Society of Psychology, and the Brazilian Federation ‎of Cognitive Therapies.‎

Anushka Patel, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Chan School of Public ‎Health. She is also a global mental health fellow with the World Health Organization. Anushka ‎specializes in trauma-related assessment and developing evidence-based treatments that are ‎scalable in low-resource settings domestically and globally. She earned her BA from Carleton ‎College, MN, then completed her doctoral studies at The University of Tulsa, OK, and her clinical ‎internship at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). ‎

Srishti Sardana, Postdoctoral Fellow, has been invested in bringing high-quality mental health care to the ‎most at-risk, underserved people globally for over 15 years. She has been an entrepreneur, clinical psychologist, ‎corrections officer, and the lead of several evidence-based projects in collaboration with ‎governments, academic institutions, and nonprofits. Her clinical science training in ‎humanitarian emergencies has a twofold impact - she is equipped to design studies and trials, ‎be a methodologist and data analyst, as well as provide direct patient care, bringing evidence-‎based psychotherapies that are culturally validated to the local context. ‎