The Scars of War: Post-Conflict Trauma and Global Health as a National Security Risk with Dr. Jess Ghannam

Jess Ghannam (@jessghannam) | Twitter

In this special release, A’ndre and Ryan speak with Dr. Jess Ghannam, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Global Health Sciences at the UCSF School of Medicine, about post-conflict trauma and the importance of incorporating this trauma into larger conversations about national security. Dr. Ghannam, who is Palestinian-American and hails from Detroit, speaks on how “the juxtaposition of pain and curiosity” motivated him to learn about and work on the impact of trauma, in order to address health inequalities at home and abroad.  Dr. Ghannam recounts his on-the-ground experience in working in creating medical clinics in Gaza and the public health crises he observed there as a starting point to contextualize the broader conversation from a global standpoint. We have a conversation on the different types of trauma that children and adolescents experience, how mental health gives way to physical and other symptoms, and why Western ways of thinking about PTSD may not be adequate in describing the heavy trauma that civilians in conflict zones face. We discuss how a focus on chronic illnesses (non-communicable) and mental illnesses, such as depression, do present a security risk for the United States and the global community, and the interventions that the public health sector is engaging in to address these huge health issues.

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