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Psychological network support to violence traumatized children: disasters, conflicts

Final Report Summary - CHILD TRAUMA NETWORK (Psychological network support to violence traumatized children : disasters, conflicts)

The Euro-Mediterranean project CHILD TRAUMA NETWORK had been created in 2004, grouping clinician psychiatrists and psychologists of 10 countries around the Mediterranean Sea (North: Belgium, France, Italy, San Marino, Spain; South : Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia), in order to improve the knowledge and the action in medico-psychological care and provide support to the children traumatised by violence in war, terrorism and disasters. The common preoccupation of these psychiatrists and psychologists - francophones - was to initiate a reflection about the child psycho-traumatology in Euro-Mediterranean countries, because all of them were conscious that the concepts and practices taught in the world - inspired from the American clinical and nosological system diagnosis and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM), were inadequate versus the clinical reality observed in these countries.

The main objectives of the network were:
- to confront the knowledge in a critical way, because concepts and practices taught in the world, inspired from the American clinical and nosological system DSM, or from International Classification of mental Disorders (ICD), were inadequate versus the clinical reality observed in these countries; and to constitute a common basis in this area, with noting the deficiencies in the state of the art, in order to correct them;
- to harmonise action doctrines and practices in the three phases of the trauma: immediate, post-immediate and delayed-chronic; and specially to elaborate common simple clinical tools for examination (guideline), evaluation (clinical scales and tests) and treatment;
- to take into account the differences in cultural values and customs, and to emphasise the gender equality in access to care and ethical issues;
- to create a common handbook, useful for young psychiatrists, psychologists and other personnel in mental health, for teaching, training and practice of medico-psychological and psycho-social support to traumatized children; this handbook was submitted to the critics of young psychiatrists and psychologists, and was modified in consequence of these criticism;
- to start up a country-by-country help system whereby in case of major catastrophe or war in one of the countries of the consortium, which could request help from other countries to evaluate needs and to send reinforcement teams;
- to create a website, in order to facilitate the exchanges between partners, rationalise the teaching of the children psychopathology (theory and practice) and open the knowledge toward other countries, with facilities for e-learning on this website.