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European experts in disaster psychology comment on PsyCris recommendations for psychosocial support

09.11.2015

PsyCris (Adler and Meyer, LMU) was able to meet with representatives of the European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations (EFPA) Standing Committee for Crisis and Disaster Psychology (http://disaster.efpa.eu/) on 24th October 2015 in Lisbon for a joint evaluation process. Initiated by one of PsyCris’ External Scientific Advisory Board members, Marc Stein (Luxembourg), who is also a member of the respective Standing Committee, the EFPA members had expressed an interest in evaluating the “PsyCris Strategic Recommendations for Psychosocial Support”.

PsyCris had developed a set of recommendations addressing aspects of psychosocial support specifically for the disaster management. The set includes recommendations to be considered by as well as for the disaster management, and encompasses all phases associated with a disaster (i.e. from before the incident to the longer-term phases) in a cyclical motion.

After several steps of previous evaluation and upon approval by the Research Executive Agency of the European Commission, the PsyCris Strategic Recommendations for Psychosocial Support were further developed into an online application (website). Compared to the paper-version, this online application allows the user to navigate the entire set using various filters.

Following a preparatory phase of two weeks, the EFPA experts concluded their evaluation process at the joint meeting in Lisbon, which was based on a Nominal Group Technique. Thus, the EFPA experts were the first to evaluate the newly developed online version. Although the online application may be used on its own, preliminary results from this recent evaluation suggest that a joint consultation with PsyCris’ “learning platform” is encouraged, especially for the purpose of deriving customised implementations via exchanges with peers and other professionals.

The collected data from this process is currently being analysed and will be used to further improve the PsyCris Strategic Recommendations for Psychosocial Support.

We would like to specially acknowledge and express our gratitude to the following members of the EFPA Standing Committee for Crisis and Disaster Psychology, without whom this process would not have been possible: Lucia Formenti  (Italy), Nathalie Garcia Manitz (Andorra), Eva Håkanson (Sweden), Eva Münker-Kramer (Austria), Julia Richter (Hungary), Magda Rooze (Netherlands), Salli Saari (Finland), Márcio Simão Pereira (Portugal), Marc Stein (Luxembourg), Dominique Szepielak (France), and William Yule (United Kingdom).

More details about the PsyCris Strategic Recommendations for Psychosocial Support or the PsyCris learning platform will be posted in the near future.

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