The respond to the societies, combatants and governments
The nature of war lies beneath one of the most basic expressions of human emotion, it responds to the most primitive instincts of our existence, and intensifies within the dynamic of a group, which creates a mindset that might work in wartime, but leaves fresh scars during peacetime. Even though mental health is a newer concept than war, and a far more recent global concern, its effect has been indisputable through all the years society has been fighting tit for tat over territories, ideologies and religions. We’ve seen the consequences of unattended traumas due to modern -though insufficient- research, and finally recognized the immediate need to respond to the societies, combatants and governments that are going through or recovering from a wartime ordeal. In the case of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where the country is sometimes catalogued as the bull’s eye of a terrorist operation because of the presence of Shia minorities, and has breeded active terrorist cells within the country despite the government’s constant actions, wartime social psychology has been labelled as one of the priorities both governments and civilians must act upon to combat terrorism and war not only in the battlefield, but from inside our minds as well.The Quran says “Humanity is but a single brotherhood, so make peace with your brethren”. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has acted under the ideology encapsulated in this fragment of the Quran, which we can see in the path the government has paved towards better protection of its population from those who threaten its security. Highlights regarding international cooperation include resolutions (UNSCR) 2178 and 2199 focusing of counteracting terrorism, and the Global Counterterrorism Forum, which Saudi Arabia is a founding member of. Domestically, efforts have been focused from all angles to bulletproof the Saudi Mental Health system against the effects of war such as modernizing the educational curriculum to teach against violence and promote tolerance, and ensuring a comprehensive law system against war and violence. Additionally the Mental Health Act was revised in 2010 by the Council of Ministers in order to focus in improving access to mental health care generally, ensuring the least confining level of care, protecting the rights of patients, family members, and caregivers, streamlining competence, capacity, and guardianship issues, including voluntary and involuntary treatment 1, all of this giving room to a progressive development comparable with global developments in Mental Health. In addition to this, the Sakina Campaign for Dialogue to combat internet radicalization was implemented as well as the rehabilitation program at the Mohammed bin Naif Counseling and Care Center that addresses psychological consequences of terrorism.The most successful program yet has been the Public Information and Communication Campaign (PRAC) deradicalization program, which focuses on destroying the ideology behind terrorist groups and not the groups themselves, through a process of counseling both active members of terrorist groups and simpazithers, with the goal to reintegrate them into society, therefore reducing the incidence of recruitment propaganda in the population. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia believes that the government’s role in wartime situations is to protect the physical and mental health of the population, thus reducing panic situations and keeping stability in turbulent times. In order to do so, it must make sure civilians don’t fall prey to perversions of the Quran, alarming messages and/or deviating media, by regulating certain aspects of the output that the public is being exposed to. The Kingdom attaches great importance to strengthen the the role of the United Nations and its specialized agencies, such as WHO, to activate its institutions, and work as a catalyzer supporting the efforts made in developing countries. For this it is important to develop the guidelines that will steer the international effort, guidelines based in the respect to the historical, religious and cultural inheritance prevailing in different countries.