December 7, 2022
Cambodia’s leading social psychologist wins EUR 67,000 prize from Ramboll Foundation
Thearom Ret of Royal University of Phnom Penh is the 2022 winner of the Flemming Bligaard Award for his research in mental health in post-conflict cities in south-east Asia.
Unlocking barriers to better mental health
Early-career researchers from a range of disciplines and backgrounds were invited to apply for the 2022 Flemming Bligaard Award. The aim was to address the complexity and diversity in urban mental health issues, and encourage research outcomes that are applicable, replicable, and scalable in diverse urban environments.
Better prepared for climate impact
Improved quality of life inevitably needs to encompass resilience to climate impacts. Cambodia, like other countries in south-east Asia, will be impacted by a warming global climate. Cambodians will have to be prepared for these changes – and better mental health can help them prepare.
About the winner
About the Award
The Flemming Bligaard Award, named in honour of former Ramboll CEO and chairman of the Ramboll Foundation, is given annually to an early career academic, whose work has made an outstanding contribution to sustainable development. The award runs for a three-year period, 2020-2022. This year marks the final year of the award.
The 2021 award was given to Anne Lyck Smitshuysen for her work demonstrating how to increase the size of the cells used to produce green hydrogen, helping cut costs and increase scale of production, for the benefit of the green energy transition.
In 2020, the inaugural award was given to UK-based architect and researcher Colin Rose for his work on cross-laminated secondary timber to replace concrete in the building industry, thereby reducing embodied carbon and enhancing circularity.
|Mental health in Cambodia|
- The Cambodian population suffered severely under the Khmer Rouge which ruled the country in 1975-1979. In that time, more than 2 million people out of a population of 7.8 million were killed in what is known as the Cambodian Genocide.
- Today, a large portion of the adult population of Cambodia suffers the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge, which impacts mental well-being.
- Mental health is defined a priority in the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
- Globally, city dwellers have an almost 40% higher risk of depression, are over 20% more anxious, and are more lonely, isolated, and stressed than rural populations, according to The Centre for Urban Design and Mental Health.