Children in the ambulance: how do paramedics go about psychosocial care?

“The beer they gave Casper in the ambulance, calmed him down” she says.

The presenter is recounting the story of a boy who broke his leg in a swimming pool accident.

What? Is alcohol the latest innovation in professional care for children?

It keeps the audience in suspense for a while. Until it turns out presenter meant to say (teddy) ‘bear’, not ‘beer’. That presenter was me by the way 🙂 we had a good laugh about it.

Ambulance staff are often the first at the scene when a child is seriously injured. What do they know about children’s stress reactions? Have they had any training in psychological first aid? And how confident are they about providing it? Continue reading

One family in Gaza

Images and voices say a lot more than the written word, especially when it comes to trauma. One of the most impressive, touching videos that I have seen on trauma is this one:


A few months after the 2008/9 Israeli attack that killed over 1000 Palestinian people, filmmaker Jen Marlowe visited Gaza. Among the many families she met and the stories she heard, one family stood out. In the video she shows the story of Kamal and Wafaa Awajah and their children. As Marlowe writes:

Wafaa described the execution of their son, Ibrahim. As she spoke, her children played on the rubble of their destroyed home. Kamal talked about struggling to help his kids heal from trauma.

Palestinians in Gaza are depicted either as violent terrorists or as helpless victims. The Awajah family challenges both portrayals. Through one family’s story, the larger tragedy of Gaza is exposed, and the courage and resilience of its people shines through.

Take your time to watch, it is a powerful reminder of why we work in the trauma field.


Trauma recovery after the attack in Liège / Luik

For everybody who is involved in the shocking events in Luik/Liège and wants to know more about trauma recovery and how to help: a quick guide to some good, informative websites (en Français il y a un blog de la Croix-Rouge de Belgique, voor Nederlandstalige websites zie onderaan deze pagina) and a few tips. Continue reading