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University of Glasgow

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the Global Context

University of Glasgow via FutureLearn


Learn about PTSD - its symptoms, prevalence, causes and treatment

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is the mental disorder most commonly associated with exposure to trauma. PTSD results from exposure to traumas which pose a threat of serious harm or death to an individual or people close to that individual. This includes conflict-related traumas, interpersonal traumas such as sexual assault, and exposure to serious accidents, such as a car accident or a house fire.

Learn about PTSD in a global context

In the global context, the prevalence of PTSD is thought to be on the rise, as the number of individuals displaced by conflict and violence increases. The United Nations estimates that there are currently close to 80 million people who have been forcibly displaced worldwide. As the displacement process is often fraught with potentially traumatic events, awareness of PTSD is vital now more than ever to be able to ensure the wellbeing of these displaced populations.

Recognise the effects of trauma on mental health

In this four-week course, you will be introduced to PTSD and its symptoms. You will learn about PTSD in the global context, and risk and protective factors will be discussed. Diagnostic and help-seeking challenges will be explored, and the role of culture critically appraised. Treatment options for PTSD, including psychological therapies, will be explored.

This course hopes to raise awareness of PTSD, inform practice, inspire and encourage further independent study, and open up conversations about this important topic.

This course is for individuals working in healthcare, including medical and allied health professionals, and social workers seeking to learn about PTSD as a global mental health issue.

This course will appeal to anyone with an interest in mental health, including psychotherapy or counselling, mental health promotion and global mental health. The course has been designed to be accessible to a broad community of learners, including those without prior qualifications or work experience in mental health.

The Certificate of Achievement for this course may be useful for providing evidence of continuing professional development (CPD), or commitment to your career.

This course is an educational resource; it is not a therapeutic tool. Self-care resources have been embedded into the course materials. If you are feeling distressed, it is important to seek professional help to receive the support you need.


  • Introduction to PTSD in the global context
    • Course Introduction
    • What is PTSD?
    • PTSD around the globe
  • Resilience, vulnerability and variation in PTSD
    • Determinants of PTSD Symptoms and Outcomes
    • Resilience
    • Post-Traumatic Growth
  • Challenges to diagnosing and treating PTSD
    • Diagnostic challenges
    • Help-seeking
    • Challenges related to the treatment of PTSD
  • Treating and preventing PTSD
    • Psychological therapies
    • Pharmacological treatment of PTSD
    • Disaster planning
    • Summary

Taught by

Dr Dimitar Karadzhov


4.8 rating at FutureLearn based on 88 ratings

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