Promoting PA Health in the World’s Biggest Refugee Camp Pod

Promoting physical activity for health in the world’s biggest refugee camp: Common sense or misguided optimism? Podcast

Physical activity plays a critical role in promoting and maintaining positive physical and mental wellbeing. While exercise can reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder, the most vulnerable populations are often the least likely to have access to health enhancing physical activity. This includes people from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds, with evidence from Australian data demonstrating a relationship between visa-status, physical activity and depression. Despite the health benefits, implementation of physical activity promotion efforts in low resourced environments, including refugee camps, raises a number of moral, ethical and practical challenges including considerations around food insecurity, participant safety and risks of sexual and gender-based violence. This professional development will reflect on the presenters experience working with the United Nations as a mental health officer in the world’s biggest refugee camp, in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh which is currently home to >900,000 Rohingya refugees who fled genocide in neighbouring Myanmar, and is currently one of the biggest humanitarian crises of modern times. Topics to be discussed include: i) background to contexts of mass displacement and the refugee experience, ii) community-based mental health and psychosocial support and the existing role of sport within humanitarian responses, and iii) immediate and future opportunities for mental health-informed physical activity programs within humanitarian contexts.  

This is a recording of a webinar presented by ESSA on 2 June 2020. 

Presented by A/Prof Simon Rosenbaum, PhD ESSAM AEP

Associate Professor Simon Rosenbaum is a Scientia Fellow in the School of Psychiatry, UNSW Sydney, and an honorary fellow at the Black Dog Institute. As an exercise physiologist, Simon’s research focuses on physical activity, mental illness, sport for development and global mental health. Simon has worked with a variety of groups including youth, veterans, emergency service workers and refugees. Simon has published >170 peer-reviewed publications including a textbook. He serves as an elected national director of Exercise and Sports Science Australia and is the Vice President of the Australasian Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. Simon has led international research and capacity building projects, including a recent role with the United Nations working in the Rohingya refugee crises in Bangladesh. In 2019, Simon was recognised by the Clarivate Highly Cited list for mental health, awarded to the top 1% of researchers worldwide.

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Any Accredited Exercise Scientist and/or Accredited Exercise Physiologists


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1/07/2020 - 31/12/2020
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