Healing Psychological Scars in Children
A CanDo crowdfunding campaign . #HealWithHope
The children of Syria never stop showing resilience but seven years of brutal conflict has left many with deep psychological scars. The Independent Doctors Association (IDA) who run Hope Hospital for children (which was funded by the People’s Convoy campaign) see the strain of war reflected through their young patients’ behaviour. They are frightened, nervous, depressed, and understandably at times — angry.
The doctors and nurses can help children recover physically, but they need the support of the global community to help relieve the mental trauma.
Meeting conflict with compassion: the Teaching Recovery Techniques programme
The team at Hope Hospital have a solution; they want to implement the Teaching Recovery Techniques (TRT) programme which has been developed by the Children of War Foundation. It’s an evidence-based programme that teaches coping strategies, to help young people deal with the psychological aftermath of war.
It will transform lives by:
O Promoting positive memories in place of traumatic thoughts
O Teaching coping strategies to overcome fear
O Providing a safe space for children to express themselves
O Increasing hope, happiness and self-confidence
We aim to help as many children as possible
The programme will evolve over two phases. First of all, ten community healthcare workers will be trained remotely to teach recovery techniques to children between the ages of 8 and 18. After the online training course is complete they’ll run the programme over two, two-month cycles, impacting a total of two hundred children.
The programme will also work with parents or caregivers, to teach them how to cope with their child’s behaviour, empowering another 400 people in the local community.
A track record for tackling trauma
The TRT programme has a history of helping children cope with the harsh realities of war. It proved extremely effective in Bosnia during 1998, encouraging psychologists to repeat it across the world in different places like Vietnam, Uganda, Iraq and Palestine, it has also reached displaced Syrians in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.
One particular report explained how it helped a 12-year-old picture positive memories of her uncle, rather than recalling graphic images of his death.