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  Future Issues


This issue will feature a special section on suicide prevention and response, alongside other articles, field reports and personal reflections on a diverse range of subjects of interest to our readers. We are grateful to GIZ for funding the special section for this issue.

Introducing our guest editors for the September 2021 issue

Johanna Lechner

Johanna Lechner, MD., has been based in Amman since 2017 and works as an advisor at GIZ’s regional programme, ‘Psychosocial support for Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons’. By providing staff care measures and capacity-development to actors in the region, the programme seeks to support those offering psychosocial care to refugees, IDP and hosting communities. During and after obtaining her Master’s degree in psychology, she worked at a psychosocial counseling centre for refugees in Germany

Drawing from the exchanges with persons affected by violence and forced migration, her work in the Middle East focuses on considering the psychosocial impact of loss and displacement in development cooperation and looking into ways of preventing suicide in humanitarian contexts. Hence, in the recent years, they have facilitated exchange among regional stakeholders for suicide prevention and supported the implementation of prevention activities and research.

"Our societies are only as strong as our ability to work together to protect a single member from the darkness of lost hope. I believe that exchanging experiences through portals such as Intervention can only help us to improve our efforts on preventing suicide."

Lakshmi Vijayakumar

Dr. Lakshmi Vijayakumar is the founder of SNEHA, an NGO in Chennai for the prevention of suicide. She is the Head, Department of Psychiatry, Voluntary Health Services, Adyar, Chennai. She is a member of the WHO International Network for Suicide Research and Prevention. She is an Honorary Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne, Australia

She was the Vice President of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) for four years. She was awarded the Ringel Service Award by IASP. She has been conferred with an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (FRCPsych), U.K. and an FRCP (Edin) for her work on suicide prevention. She was one of the editors of the WHO report, ‘Preventing Suicide – A global imperative’, published in 2014.

She has received numerous awards in India and has actively worked for decriminalisation of suicide, producing media guidelines for reporting of suicide and developing a national suicide prevention strategy for India. She has published widely in peer reviewed journals and has authored several chapters. She is a reviewer for numerous journals and has edited two books. Her area of interest and expertise includes developing cost effective community intervention to prevent suicide.

"Suicide among refugee is a mockery of humanity. There is an urgent need to develop effective interventions to reduce suicide among refugees."

Peter Ventevogel

Peter Ventevogel, M.D., Ph.D., is a psychiatrist and a medical anthropologist. Since 2013 he is the Senior Mental Health Officer with UNHCR, the refugee agency of the United Nations. In this role he is responsible for technical guidance and support to the country operations of UNHCR worldwide. Previously, he was editor-in-chief of Intervention, Journal for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Conflict Affected Areas and worked with NGOs in Afghanistan, Burundi and the Netherlands. In 2016, he defended his doctoral dissertation, ‘Borderlands of mental health: Explorations in medical anthropology, psychiatric epidemiology and health systems research in Afghanistan and Burundi’.

Rabih El Chammay

Dr Rabih El Chammay is a psychiatrist and currently the head of the National Mental Health Programme at the Ministry of Public Health in Lebanon. After founding the programme, he led the development and is currently overseeing the implementation of the first National Mental Health and Substance Use Strategy 2015-2020 aiming at reforming the Mental Health System in Lebanon towards community-based mental health services in line with Human rights and latest evidence that is currently under implementation.

He has been working in public mental health, refugee mental health and health system strengthening for more than 14 years. He has been working on these topics in the MENA region as well as on the international level with various agencies such as WHO, UNHCR, UNICEF, IMC and many other NGOs.

He is also a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry at the faculty of Medicine at Saint Joseph University in Beirut.

"It’s great that Intervention chose to shed light on suicide in humanitarian settings. There is much that can be done to improve our response to it and to save lives."

Editorial board