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Indonesia: Psychological support training for Red Cross volunteers in Aceh

01-07-2004 News Release 04/80

Red Cross volunteers bringing aid to conflict victims in Aceh regularly have to operate in a difficult working environment. In view of these special circumstances, the ICRC and the Indonesian Red Cross (Palang Merah Indonesia – PMI) decided in early June to provide a group of volunteers from the strife-torn province with training in psychological support techniques.


PMI volunteers discuss the dynamics of stressful situations and the provision of support during a joint ICRC/PMI psychological support training.©ICRC 

The seven-day course for the 22 volunteers was conducted by a specialist with wide experience in the field of conflict-related stress management, in cooperation with an Indonesian psychiatrist who is also a member of the PMI's governing board. The participants were provided with practical tools and support strategies for dealing with stress. They learned how to recognize the signs and symptoms of the different stages of stress, ranging from acute to cumulative to burnout, and when it is necessary to seek professional help. The ICRC and the PMI are planning to conduct an evaluation of the impact of the training later this year. According to the participants, this type of training was very useful to them in the particular context in which they had to work. At the end of the course they formally requested both the ICRC and PMI headquarters to provide additional training in this field so as to ensure that volunteers receive better support in coping with stress-related issues.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Martin Unternährer, ICRC Jakarta, tel. ++62 21 739 67 56