Global crisis - Armed Conflict
Theme leader: Arieh Shalev
The recent events in Ukraine, but also Afghanistan, Ethiopia and other areas in the world call for available relevant information and guidelines on how we can support trauma survivors caught up in armed conflict.
On this page we collect information that may be of help to survivors or trauma professionals and we start new projects relevant to the theme.
(1) ESTSS statement supporting Ukraine was released on February 24 https://estss.org/the-european-society-for-traumatic-stress-studies-estss-supports-ukraine/
(2) ESTSS recommendations for mental health professionals to act was released on February 26 https://estss.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/ESTSS.Recommendatoins.Ukraine.2022.pdf
(3) An ESTSS training program for Ukrainian professionals has been launched funded by ESTSS
(4) ESTSS members in Lithuania, Georgia, and Poland are active in preparation for psychosocial care for Ukrainian refugees, and more countries will join
European Journal of Psychotraumatology, ESTSS's journal, has released a call-for-papers: Psychosocial Support in Times of Armed Conflict, to solicit relevant and practical papers with information that may help in a crisis/war. Guest editor Prof Dr Evaldas Kazlausakas.
Mental health screening tools
Other tools see Assessment
Other relevant links for psychosocial support
WHO’s 5-session stress management course for large groups
An Illustrated Guide is a stress management guide for coping with adversity. The guide aims to equip people with practical skills to help cope with stress. A few minutes each day are enough to practice the self-help techniques...
WHO-UNHCR needs assessment guidelines
IFRC Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support
contributes knowledge and provides service to the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement.
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN)
The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC)
The IASC Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings provides resources and information for anyone who is involved in the psychosocial and psychological care of people affected by the crisis in the Ukraine. These resources can be accessed here:
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people.
Self-help psychoeducational resource and online counselling
For persons experiencing trauma related symptoms we refer to a self-help psychoeducational resource and online counselling for those who need it.
It is run by a team of professionals of Federation Global Initiative on Psychiatry (FGIP) and Ukrainian consultants.
Web site: samopomi.ch
Web site: . samopomo.ch
Links received from Ukrainian professionals to support/donate
To donate to the reliable charitable fund "Povernys zhyvym" ("Come back alive"). Your donation will be used to buy the protection and medical supplies. Instruction on the donation you can make here: https://savelife.in.ua/en/donate/
Even a small donation, multiplied by the number of supporters, will make a difference. So please, share this with your colleagues, friends, other people that you can outreach, share on FB or other media etc., even if you yourselves are not ready to donate directly.
Please make the record in this depersonalized form (https://forms.gle/byRRT1SMbVwgcsUa9). You will be asked just to enter your country and the sum of your donation. No other information will be requested.
Developing a position paper on physical and psychological survival of war stress
Project leader: Arieh Shalev
Project group: tbd
During war hostilities civilians are exposed to a myriad of severe stressors, major losses, and extreme situational demands. Whilst such stressor might be traumatic in the long run, the task at hand during hostilities is survival and harm mitigation. At such time survival efforts not only involves the individual, but also families, attachment networks, and larger groups. They encompass physical and psychological survival, attaining food shelter and safety, re-evaluating the new realities’ constraints and openings, maintaining orientation and communication, adjusting to losses and overcoming exposure to grotesque death and deconfiguration.
At such time as well, individuals’ inherent resilience and intuitive resourcefulness are challenged by unexpected and, at times, inescapable stressors and require adjustment and adaptation. Psychological first aid, including guiding, training and advising lay helpers and professionals is important during hostilities. However, understanding and addressing the burden on those directly exposed is truly critical: they are the ones who evaluate threat and protection, assess risks and opportunities, sooth children – and one another; process and adjust to changing situational constraints, weigh information accuracy and relevance, derive and test predictions and courses of action and engage in salutogenic activities.
We need to directly address those at harm’s way, help by advice and guidance based on extant knowledge taken from disaster and combat psychiatry, from relocation and refugees situations, captivity and genocide survivorship and other empirical or descriptive sources. Inherent to this work is the repeated observations of individuals and families’ resourcefulness during extreme conditions and a belief in inherent resiliency potential in each individual.