The UNHCR (UN refugee agency) reported that suicide attempts among refugees in camps in Uganda have more than doubled in the past year. Although there is a lack of official data across the diaspora, South Sudanese in America have also experienced increasing losses due to suicide, especially among youth.
There are systems in place in South Sudan and America that perpetuate the mental health crisis in this community. In older generations, this stems from war, displacement, loss, and poverty. In younger generations, these same traumas are passed on and paired with growing up bicultural, challenging cultural norms, and facing anti-Black racism.
What are the mental health effects of living through—or having members of your immediate family live through—a civil war in your home country? How do you deal with this in a culture that stigmatizes mental health?
The War After the War explores these questions and this pressing issue by discussing the mental health struggles of South Sudanese youth in the Midwest. Through intimate interviews, the documentary provides a space for conversation about generational trauma, stigma, and healing—while also exploring how youth are organizing their community to make a change for future generations.