May 11, 2011
How can leadership be fostered among a people subjected to nearly constant violence? British conflict trauma therapist and journalist Justine Hardy highlights the importance of addressing the mental health of individuals in conflict-ravaged areas. She explains how sustainable positive change must come from within, from individuals who can think with clarity and take responsibility for their actions. Hardy shares her research from her time in Kashmir and describes how they have developed what she describes as a "pathology of victimhood” after experiencing violence as a part of everyday life for more than two decades. Young people in the region, who have never known peace, are especially affected, but Hardy warns that the problem is more widespread, with one psychologist estimating that 90% of the population suffers mental damage. Hardy is adamant that in order to build a healthy future for Kashmir, the problem of mental health cannot be ignored.