Workshop “Recognizing and interpreting post-traumatic complaints among refugees and non-Western patients” at GZA in Utrecht

A group of 16 very enthusiastic and dedicated staff members of Gezondheidszorg Asielzoekers (GZA) attended the closing workshop of the course “Primary care for refugees and newcomers”. The participants work daily in asylum centres located in different parts of The Netherlands, giving psychosocial care to those in need. With a set of 4 e-learning modules, studied in a 6 weeks self-study period, the participants strengthened their theoretical knowledge and learned about different treatment methods.

The workshop was provided by two experts from Arq Academy (national psycho trauma center), in collaboration with Health[e]Foundation.

Important themes where the recognition of Post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) among newcomers, the use of screeners, the Cultural Formulation Interview (CFI) and what interventions can be used for referral or bridging mechanisms. With several interactive exercises, the participants practiced the screeners’ methods PROTECT and PCL5. In pairs the CFI (also known as DSM5) was practiced, focusing on the evocation of the patient’s own narrative of illness, family history, and social network. Pharmacotherapy and how to make a crisis signaling plan where discussed as methods for bridging. With several case studies, the participants were triggered with new insights on how to improve the treatment and understanding of refugees.

During the discussions, the challenges participants face in their daily practice where shared and local solutions and referral options were exchanged. The workshop ended by giving each participant a rose and a stone, experiencing how grounding exercises could be used. A big ‘thank you’ to everyone who participated and to Stichting Dioraphte by supporting this project.

On October 2 other groups (from ELAA and a group from primary health care professionals from various places in The Netherlands) started their e-learning and will participate in the workshop in Amsterdam and Diemen in November.