Our proposal focuses on “Mental health conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and co-morbid conditions such as depression and anxiety”. The impact that the Colombian armed conflict has had on its citizens’ mental health has been neither well characterised nor considered by strategies aimed at restoring peace in a post-conflict society. By investigating such an impact, we aim to unveil the role of environmental, neurocognitive, and genetic factors, on resilience, vulnerabillity, and response to interventions. We have recently demonstrated that Colombian ex-combatants present with neurocognitive phenotypes which can be identified with 84.33% accuracy using Machine Learning Models. Such outcomes suggest that strategies to enhance the diagnosis and intervention of mental health problems of individuals chronically exposed to the armed conflict need to be personalised. Via an interdisciplinary approach to biopsychosocial evidence drawn from individuals with different levels of exposure to the armed conflict, we will (1) identify patterns of resilience or vulnerability to anxiety, depression and PTSD, (2) explore their impact on the clinical diagnosis, and (3) their value to inform person-centred interventions. For the latter, we will use Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy which allows for individualized approaches and has proved useful to treat a range of mental health conditions.
proposal in preparation for the call: Peacebuilding and Resilience in an era of global health challenges: a bilateral research call to enhance understanding and support for mental health challenges in Colombia