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February 2010
Children and Armed Conflict: Risk, Resilience and Mental Health

This is an international and multidisciplinary conference addressing the developmental and mental health needs of children in conflict-affected settings.

The conference highlights the complex interaction between risk factors, psychopathology and mental health with resilience as an important moderator.

Traumas associated with armed conflict, deprivations, displacement, and related losses increase children’s risk of developing mental health difficulties. However, children
have great potential for resilience. The international community has the responsibility to foster their strengths and help them outgrow the impact of war.

Speakers review current evidence-based data and information on psychosocial and clinical interventions to reduce the short and long-term impact of traumatic experiences. Discussions examine the role of these interventions as part of a broader protective environment for children affected by armed conflict. This includes how social supports can be mobilized to protect and care for children; the role of schools as protective and healing
environments; and utilizing emergency interventions to jump start long term child protection system development.

Discussing interagency cooperation and providing a forum for researchers, clinicians and humanitarian/aid organization to explore issues of mutual interest and identify
opportunities for collaboration are paramount aims of this conference.

The conference is divided into three parts: the first part includes an overview, fostering resilience and understanding psychopathology; the second part focuses on characterization and experiences with children traumatized by armed conflict, including a special section
on child soldiers; the third part focuses on policy and program development, with a special focus on meeting the developmental needs of unaccompanied and separated children.

The specific goals and objectives of the conference are:

Provide a forum for dialogue and interaction
Consider the current evidence base for programming
Highlight issues of concern
Discuss and develop specific initiatives of mutual interest

Organizing Committee
- Myron L. Belfer, M. D.,
- Theresa Betancourt, Sc. D., M. A.
- Robert A. Destro, J. D.
- Siham Muntasser, M. D.
- John Rosenquist, C. M. P., C. G. M. P.
- John Williamson, M. S. W.

Venue and Date
The conference convenes December 7–9, 2009 in the Auditorium of the Institute of Medicine-National Academy of Sciences at 2100 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20418.

Sponsors
- American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
- Catholic University of America, Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies
- Center for Disaster and Humanitarian Assistance Medicine
- Henry Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine
- West Virginia University School of Medicine

Supporters
- Child Soldiers Initiative
- François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health/Human Rights,
- Harvard School of Public Health
- Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health
- Section on Conflict Management and Resolution, World Psychiatric Association

Audience
This conference interests a broad audience including:
academics, children's advocates, human rights, and postconflict
development groups/organizations, government
officials, military personnel, mental health professionals,
researchers and policy makers.

Continuing Medical Education Credits (CME)
Continuing education credits are provided for physicians.

Registration
For the website link to the registration form go to www.hjf.org/events and then search for Children & Armed Conflict. A $75.00 registration fee will be charged to cover cost of food, materials and continuing education.

Contact Persons
For information please contact John Rosenquist at jrosenquist@hjf.org and/or Siham Muntasser at smuntasser@hsc.wvu.edu, phone 304-269-1210 ext 235.

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