CarePath and response to coronavirus
With the coronavirus pandemic forcing us all to adapt our lives, our call for trauma-informed care across Europe for children in vulnerable circumstances has never felt more timely. Therefore, the CarePath project would like to share with you a message of hope from one of our partners, Dr Alberto Zucconi, President of the Person Centred Approach Institute (IACP). Dr Zucconi and IACP are based in Italy, the country in Europe most affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the accompanying societal crisis.
Honestly, we never imagined we would find ourselves writing a message on the risks of post-traumatic stress disorder arising from the effects of a pandemic. The Coronavirus pandemic is real, and its dangers are greater than a simple flu. The recommendations of the authorities are to be followed, in order to protect yourself and your loved ones and others.
We all, as professionals, have an ethical duty to contribute for our own wellbeing and that of our communities by promoting mental health, reminding everyone to manage this emergency in a functional way and with effective and scientifically sound coping behaviours. How do we manage the Coronavirus pandemic? Simple - by raising everyone’s awareness, behaviours and collaboration.
Perhaps it is also wise to remember that there are many other realities and phenomena that should not be forgotten. For example: the precautions to avoid seropositivity (HIV/AIDS) that reap many victims every year, or the many other phenomena that attack individual and social health, like viruses, in the sense of the fast spreading damage they create through our society. There has been very little mention of the various types of emotional trauma that is caused by trauma of brain damage, widespread morbidity, or sexual and domestic violence – each of which can lead to adult victims becoming in turn the perpetrators and traumatising new innocent victims, often children.
Let us also remember that there are also forms of infectious diseases that are not issues of allopathic health care yet can produce very real and lethal damage to our social health, such as racism, fascism, fanaticism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, corruption, organised crime, and social injustice. What about pollution that destroys the climate and the environment of the entire planet with their blind and ruthless behaviours?
We invite you to reflect on these many other forms of pandemics that threaten to destroy human rights and other forms of life on the planet. Unfortunately, these will only get worse and worse if each of us do not develop a greater awareness and congruent behaviours in order to be part of the solution, instead of the problem. We must not forget that there are other variables that are equally infectious but with positive repercussions, such as love, solidarity, deep respect, empathy, friendship, kindness, empowerment, participatory democracy to name a few.
If each of us during this time of Coronavirus strives to make our own contribution to improving our relationship with ourselves, others and the world, we will not waste this quarantine time and we will all come out of it better! Better not only as individuals, but as communities, societies, and as a shared human species!
Let us remind ourselves that there is a large body of scientific research on growth after trauma. We humans are not powerless, even in the most critical situations. We can make a choice about how to relate to ourselves, to others and to the world around us, and we can choose to grow from this experience on a human and existential level.
Let's help each other.
A hug to each of you and best wishes to you and your loved ones,Alberto, on behalf of the CarePath project partnership
Call to action:
Given the situation, we invite you all to enrol in our free online course on trauma-informed care that created as part of the CarePath project. The course is dedicated to professionals who work with children, or anyone who wants to learn more about trauma-informed care. You can access this free course at mooc.carepath-project.eu. You can follow it with you mobile phone, tablet and computer. If you complete the course you will receive a certificate of completion. The course is available in Italian, English, French, Greek and Hungarian.
- Read latest research just published by The Lancet on the risks of post-traumatic stress disorder even for those in the helping professions, by Samantha K Brooks, Rebecca K Webster, Louise E Smith, Lisa Woodland, Simon Wessely, Neil Greenberg, and Gideon James Rubin (2020): The psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it: rapid review of the evidence
- For professionals and organisations working with children, CarePath partner Eurochild has gathered resources for talking to, and working with children across multiple languages. Read more here: www.eurochild.org/news/covid-19/