The last year was marked by the pictures of thousands of people standing at the EU-boarders after a rough and often deadly journey across the Mediterranean Sea. Anxiety, desperation and sorrow were etched in their faces. We do not know what every single one experienced. But what we do know is that a lot of refugees have experienced extreme events. Not only events in their country of origin, events leading to their flight like (civil) wars, persecution or torture, but also about a long and troublesome flight. Those traumatic experiences are a heavy burden to the mental health and can result in a lack of concentration or sleep disorders, emotional numbness, panic attacks and suicidal thoughts. Other consequences can be psychological disorders and personality changes. For some refugees it is not sufficient to be in a safe place after their escape. They need psychosocial support to avoid suffering from lifelong consequences of their psychological disorders.
This necessary support is unfortunately uncommon in Germany – it often fails because of the current residential status, the linguistic barriers and bureaucratic hurdles. Low-threshold assistance is offered by the nationwide 34 Psychosocial Centers for Refugees and Torture Victims (PSZ). They are providing psychosocial and psychotherapeutic support outside of the regular health care system and so are taking over the duties of the responsible governmental institutions.
Being the umbrella association of the PSZs, we, the BAfF e.V are bundling the political power of the treatment centers for traumatized refugees. We make their experiences publicly available, ensure a high standard in the provided medical and psychosocial care and encourage the exchange of experiences and knowledge in the work with refugees. With our demands to politics and administration, we are standing up for the human rights of refugees and provide urgently needed help for those who are traumatized.
Please help us, so we can keep on fighting for the psychosocial health of refugees and support us with a donation.
What we do to support traumatized refugees:
· We provide consultancy for psychosocial and psychotherapeutic assistance of refugees.
· We support volunteers and professionals with helpful information.
· We develop working aids and brochures for therapists and doctors, publish reports on the health care situation, and give refugees a voice in publicity.
· We are offering continuing education for people working with traumatized refugees.