Mental health and radicalization
The possible relationship between mental health and radicalization, extremism and terrorist involvement has received a lot of attention recently. But what do we really know about this relationship?
With the global threat of terrorist attacks, individual jurisdictions have taken more power to themselves, ostensibly to protect the public, but also potentially compromising individual rights. There is a danger of political hegemony in measures to counter terrorism, manifesting in practitioners colluding with risk-averse assessment and management of those detained for terrorist offences. Maintaining ethical practice among practitioners in the P/CVE space is essential to upholding their individual rights and meeting the tenets of procedural justice, and research confirms that an ethical rights-focussed approach also delivers better outcomes for intelligence gathering pre-crime.
The mental health of individuals is a significant contributing factor to the P/CVE challenge. We have seen how, during the pandemic, the well-being of all societies has been severely undermined and psychological distress has become widespread among the world's population, sometimes triggering new movements that harbor distortions of reality and extreme emotional responses. Throughout this talk we will delve into these circumstances, tracing etiologies and suggesting possible solutions.
Monica Lloyd is a chartered forensic psychologist who practised in the UK in both HM Prison Service and HM Prison Inspectorate before taking up a dedicated role with terrorist offenders in custody to develop methodologies for their risk assessment and intervention, learning that has subsequently informed P/CVE work in the community. For the last ten years she has worked within the Centre for Applied Psychology at Birmingham University, developing and delivering a dual clinical forensic doctorate course, whilst maintaining a research interest in extremist violence. She is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and has developed BPS guidelines for working ethically with terrorist offenders in the UK, and in Europe through the RAN network in Ethical Guidelines for Working for P/CVE in Mental Health Care.
Eva María Jiménez González is a doctor in Clinical and Forensic Psychology and Head of the Institute of Forensic Psychology in the Ministry of Justice in Spain. She co-chairs the RAN Mental Health Working Group (RAN Practitioners), is the Team leader of International Relationship with Institutes and Network (RAN Policy Support), and the Ambassador in Spain of RAN (European Commission). She is a member of the “Peace Keepers Team” from the Spanish Minister of Defense and United Nations, and a member of the World Health Organisation in its Mental Health Unit. She holds a position as Director of the International Master in Clinical and Forensic Psychology at the International University of Menéndez Pelayo.
Anders Bo Christensen is a special advisor at The Danish Centre for prevention of Extremism and a RAN Expert. He has worked for several years providing counsel within Preventing/Countering Violent Extremism primarily aimed at municipalities, police and a number of other relevant actors. This work involves training in risk assessment, local P/CVE organizing and providing knowledge on extremism dynamics for practitioners from municipalities, police, health sector and other relevant professionals within crime and extremism prevention. Anders Bo comes from a background of teaching, for several years at schools in socially disadvantaged districts. Following that, he worked for a number of years in the Municipality of Copenhagen developing individual level gang EXIT strategies, and later at The National Board of Social Services to develop initiatives to prevent youth gang recruitment.
Discussant: Rita Augestad Knudsen, Senior Researcher, NUPI.
Introduction – Rita Augestad Knudsen
P/CVE: Balancing the rights of individuals against the state – Monica Lloyd
The Danish Approach – Anders Bo Christensen
Mental health and the Covid-19 pandemic – Eva María Jiménez González
This webinar is hosted by the Consortium for Research on Terrorism and International Crime