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6th International Congress of WIAMH

Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina, August 13-15, 1999.

HOW CAN WE ASSIST CHILDREN TRAUMATISED IN WAR

Besima ĆATIĆ Irfanka PAŠAGIĆ, Osman SINANOVIĆ

Home for unaccompanied minors, Italian Humanitarian Organisation AMICA,
Psychiatric Clinic, University Clinical Centre of the Faculty of Medicine of the Tuzla University, 75000 Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Children are the most jeopardised and the most sensitive population in every aggression. In the past aggression over Bosnia and Herzegovina, and due to the long lasting and multiple traumas, children have developed a symptomatology with a wide range of symptoms. Dominate were the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder and depressive reactions. No matter the circumstances in which the victims of aggression are, the children require assistance and it must not be postponed until better conditions take place. There are many techniques and ways of working on assistance to children. Having learned the information on the war trauma and its consequences for the first time, many of us who were in contact with children have offered them different kinds of assistance and support for recovery – techniques of relaxation, talks with reconstruction of traumatic experiences, art therapy, organisation of various activities such as fine art club, pen club, drama club, music club, sport club and similar. Out of fear and curiosity over what happens to children, but also in order to correct ourselves, we followed possible effects of our assistance through talks, different questionnaires, URT recording of traumatic experiences, Birlesen’s scale for depression, impact of event scale and internal questionnaires for self-evaluation of effects of applied psycho-social activities. In this paper, some of experiences in the work with 47 unaccompanied minors during the war, followed by the analysis of the applied activities and the overview of positive effect in the sense of reduction of the symptoms of war trauma.

Key words:Unaccompanied Minors – War Trauma – Psycho-social Activities – Possibility of Recovery

References:

  1. Ayalon O (1995) Save the Children /Manual of Group Activities for Assistance to Children under Stress. Zagreb: Školska knjiga
  2. Herman JL (1996) Stadiji opravka. U: Zdjelar R (ur). Trauma and Recovery. Zagreb: Ženska infoteka, 159-242.
  3. Ćatić B (1998) Traumatic Reactions and Possibility of Recovery of Children Exposed to War Activities. Master Thesis. Faculty of Medicine of the University of Tuzla (Mentor: Prof. PhD SCI. O. Sinanović
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