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A supportive programme for the humanitarian aid workers of the ICRC

28-02-2002 by B. Bierens de Haan, H. Van Beerendonk, N. Michel, J.-C. Mulli

Extract from "Revue Française de Psychiatrie et de Psychologie Médicale", février 2002 - Tome VI - No 53. Article reproduced on this site with the kind permission of the publisher.



Humanitarian aid workers are suffering from increasingly violent emotional reactions. So much that they must be supported to increase their resistance to different types of stress and their efficiency in the field in favour of the victims.

A supportive programme was set up for the field staff based on education and training before the mission, stress management and support during the mission and follow-up with psychological support and (if needed) referral to mental health professionals, on return. Great effort is laid on the training of the managerial staff accountable of recognizing, identifying and managing stress reactions in the field.

An evaluation of this programme showed that it was well received by the humanitarian personnel but needed improvements.


 Keywords : debriefing, humanitarian aid workers, psychotrauma, red-cross, stress, supportive programme.  


Full text available in French only  See also   Emotional group debriefing of humanitarian aid workers: the experience of ICRC , by Barthold Bierens de Haan

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