Developing Strategies to Deal with Trauma in Children

A Means of Ensuring Conflict Prevention, Security and Social Stability. Case Study: 12-15-Year-Olds in Serbia


Donnelly, J.,
Kovacova, A.,
Osofsky, H.,
Osofsky, J.,
Paskell, C.,
Salem-Pickartz, J.

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No longer are threats to security and their impact on individuals a matter for the authorities alone – a holistic view is now essential. From grass roots to policy level, all of us must be involved, take responsibility, make informed decisions and undertake appropriate actions. This is particularly important if we are to succeed in redressing the potential negative impact of the psychosocial consequences of trauma in children and adolescents in countries in transition, emerging from conflict, or victim of terrorist incidents. There are many more young people who need appropriate help to come to terms with what they are suffering than there are mental health professionals. Many people could learn the skills to ensure that today’s young people realise their full potential as well-balanced adults, willing and able not only to commit themselves to social development and security for their own country but also to focus on respect and understanding to ensure international peace and security. This publication wants to establish long-term and sustainable strategies of practical activities which mothers, fathers, teachers – any concerned member of the community - can be trained to undertake in order to complement the work of mental-health professionals to prevent trauma and to deal with its consequences in children and adolescents as victims, witnesses and perpetrators of the violence of the new security threats. Preliminary work was undertaken to develop international guidelines for implementing effective measures to help young people regain their well-being and become future actors for respect, understanding and peace.