Richard Mollica (USA) is the Director of the Harvard
Program in Refugee Trauma
(HPRT) at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). He is also
Associate Professor of
Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School. He received his M.D.
from the University of New Mexico Medical School and an
M.A.R from Yale University Divinity School.
In 1981, Dr. Mollica and his HPRT team developed one of
the first clinical programs for refugees in the United States.
Under Dr. Mollica's direction, HPRT has pioneered the medical
and mental health care of survivors of mass violence and
torture in the United States and abroad. Throughout the
1980s, HPRT was involved in systematically dealing with
the mental health crisis among Cambodian refugees confined
on the Thai-Cambodian border. Over the past eight years,
HPRT established the first community-based system of mental
health care in Cambodia. This included establishing a center
of excellence in Siem Reap (Angkor Wat) as well as the training
of one hundred primary care physicians located in all 21
Under Dr. Mollica's leadership, HPRT is currently developing
an integrated system of
mental health care in Bosnia's primary health care system
in Travnick Canton.
This canton experienced some of Bosnia's worse violence
during the recent war.
Dr. Mollica and his HPRT staff conduct policy, training,
clinical care and
research for traumatized populations worldwide associated
with mass violence.
Two decades of scientific work have helped establish a major
refugee health policy agenda within international agencies
such as the United Nations and the World Bank, including
an emphasis on mental health in post-conflict societies.
Dr. Mollica has been the recipient of a number of awards,
including the Human
Rights Award, American Psychiatric Association (1993); the
Max Hayman Award for
making an outstanding contribution to the knowledge and
genocide, American Orthopsychiatry Association (1996); and
a lifetime visiting
professorship, Ministry of Health, Japan, for his mental
health contribution to
the citizens of Kobe following the recent earthquake (2000).
· Mollica, R.F., Sarajlic, N., Chernoff, C., et
al. (2001) Longitudinal Study of Psychiatric Symptoms, Disability,
Mortality and Emigration Among Bosnian Refugees. JAMA.
August. 286: 546-554.
· Mollica, R.F. Assessment of Trauma in Primary Care.
(2001) JAMA. 285: 1213.
· Mollica, R.F. Responding to Migration and Upheaval.
(2000) G. Thornicroft, G., Szmukler, G., eds. Textbook
of Community Psychiatry. Oxford U P, Vol. 37: 439-551.
· Mollica, R.F. (1999) The Trauma and Reconstruction
of Societies Devastated by Mass Violence. In: Institute
for Development Anthropology. Spring and Fall. Vol.
17, no. 1-2.
New Principles and Practices for the Recovery of Post-Conflict
The last century has been described as the "refugee
century." In recent years, war and ethnic conflict
have left over sixty nations and their hundreds of millions
of citizens devastated by mass violence and torture. Recent
scientific studies have revealed the enormous mental health
impact of human aggression on the health status and daily
functioning of affected individuals. No longer can large
numbers of damaged citizens be ignored by the international
community in the economic and social recovery of post conflict
societies. Indigenous resources need to be maximally utilized
in a culturally effective manner to promote healing.
This research proposal focuses on the development of a
new recovery paradigm that places the health care sector,
especially primary care, at the center of post-conflict
recovery along with more traditional development interests.
A one-year program of scientific research that includes
the convening of Ministries of Health from five post-conflict
societies in Asia, Africa, Latin/Central America, Europe
and the Middle East will meet to generate new principles
and practices for the role of mental health and health in
reconstruction activities. This scientific meeting will
take place in Sarajevo, Bosnia, the recent location of atrocities
of extraordinary proportions. The host institutions will
be the University of Sarajevo and the Bosnian Ministry of
Health. This project will be implemented over 12 months
integrating four major objectives: (1) Understanding the
cultural meaning of trauma. (2) Assessing new tools/knowledge
for caring for the health/mental health of traumatized populations.
(3) Synthesizing a model of recovery that primarily uses
indigenous resources, including traditional healing and
the primary health care system. (4) Identify strategies
for mobilizing the political process to achieve effective
mental health programs.
This project builds upon the goals of the Fulbright New
Century Scholar Program. The project is Interdisciplinary,
focusing specifically on the fields of medicine, psychology,
anthropology and international development. It cuts across
national boundaries by bringing together for the first time
the experience of societies attempting to recover from,
as well as prevent, the destruction of human and social
capital caused by mass violence.