Can Mass Violence and its Consequences be Prevented? (Series: Coping with Collective Trauma)

Lecture by prof. Joop de Jong on Wednesday 16 April

Organised by Studium Generale

Wed 16 April 2014 20:00 to 22:00

Venue Impulse, gebouwnummer 115

What if we looked at dramatic social upheaval around the globe through the lens of a public health perspective? Common sense wisdom ‘what goes around – comes around’ or  ‘ history repeats itself’ might hit the nail on the head.  Or would it? Joop de Jong (Emeritus Professor of Cultural and International Psychiatry VUMC, Professor of  Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine, staff member of AISSR, UvA) will explore how to cope with collective traumas at the group level.  Can the predictors of infectious and non-infectious disease behaviour give us insights into the most dangerous symptoms of chronic violence and the perpetuated impacts of collective traumas? How could economic, diplomatic, political,  justice, human rights, military, health and rural development sectors predict or even collaborate to prevent it? Find out what the international community could be doing as we challenge our understanding of collective pain and ways to address it.

Joop de Jong, MD, PhD, is Professor of Cultural and International Psychiatry at the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Institute of Social Science Research of the University of Amsterdam. He is adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine and Visiting Professor of Psychology at Rhodes University, South Africa.

Joop de Jong is expert in public mental health and cultural and international psychiatry. He has worked and conducted research in post-conflict, disaster, and in multicultural settings, and has (co)authored over 240 chapters and articles in peer-reviewed journals. He has published on cultural and international psychiatry and psychotherapy, public mental health, epidemiology, medical anthropology and on the mental health of populations torn by violence and disaster. He is advisor to WHO and other UN agencies, member of several board of trustees and member of various professional organizations.

After obtaining his medical degree, Joop de Jong was trained in international and public health. He provided medical support in (post-)conflict situations in Senegal, Guinea-Bissau and Angola.  After doing his psychiatry and psychotherapy training back in the Netherlands, he returned to Guinea-Bissau to help establish a model for the country’s mental health program. Upon his return from Africa, he completed his Ph.D. in Medical Anthropology and Epidemiology. He has since established TPO (Transcultural Psychosocial Organization), one of the largest relief organizations specializing in mental health and psychosocial care of traumatized, (post-) conflict and post-disaster populations, covering approximately 15 million beneficiaries worldwide. In 2004 he merged TPO, with approximately thousand employees in 14 countries, with HealthNet. He became Director Public Health and Research of Healthnet TPO, with its emphasis on communicable diseases, health systems development, mental health & psychosocial care, and health financing systems. Healthnet TPO implements community based public health programs in a variety of countries. From 2006 to 2008 Joop de Jong was Medical Director of the Municipal Health Service (GGD) of Amsterdam. From 2008 to 2011 he was Principal Advisor to the City of Amsterdam in the field of Public Health and Public Mental Health. In 2011 he joined the AISSR of the University of Amsterdam.

Joop de Jong’s research focuses among other topics on epidemiological, (cost)effectiveness and efficacy research and mixed method studies among adults and children in conflict and disaster situations. In addition, Joop de Jong is involved in several epidemiological studies in the Netherlands and in a number of networks that are active in the domain of public health and culture. Until 2006 he worked part-time in private practice, mainly with immigrants and refugees, and until today he provides forensic psychiatric expertise. Currently he supervises thirteen PhD students.

Over the years, Joop de Jong has worked in four continents including Algeria, Angola, Burundi, Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Namibia, Senegal, Sudan, Uganda, South Africa, Afghanistan, Bangla Desh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Sri Lanka, Haiti, Surinam, Bosnia, the Netherlands and Kosova.