Improving psychosocial support in crisis management

“Our goal is to make emergency planning and service infrastructure in Europe as a whole more efficient”

Summary 

PsyCris is an international multi-disciplinary project with the overall objective to improve psycho social support in crisis management.

The main goals were: a status quo analysis of psychological and medical support in crises in European Countries, as well as recommendations for improvement of support strategies for victims, enhancement of psycho-medical preparedness for major incidents and providing efficient self-help strategies to communities affected by crisis. PsyCris provided guidelines for preparedness, prevention and intervention for crisis. The results had a significant impact on public health, community resilience, international cooperation and cost containment.  

About the project

Serious crises – precipitated by events such as airline crashes, school shootings or natural disasters  place enormous demands on everyone involved, victims, emergency services and response coordinators. In addition to physical injury and loss of life, these events can inflict massive psychological stress and traumatise survivors and rescue teams alike. PsyCris attempted to define how to select and provide psychosocial support that is best suited to different types of situation, and investigated the impacts of stress and other constraints on crisis managers and their decision-making processes.

Solution

The project provided a set of tools enabling efficient handling of relevant data, transfer of knowledge and practical competences relevant for crisis management, stress control and social support and rapid decision making in concrete crisis. The tools were integrated within a computerised knowledge system combining e-learning and face-to-face teaching. The results of this project had a significant impact on public health, community resilience, international cooperation and cost containment.

Implementation journey

The project follows the tradition to present descriptive statistical data (e.g. morbidity, mortality etc.) for typical disasters to gain an overview about their aftermath. A strong focus however, is given to qualitative research because it provides thick and detailed descriptions of real-life action that represent the actual meanings of the actors. Existing reports and documents are analysed in order to provide insight into the disasters investigated. Additionally, expert interviews with stakeholders of civil protection and public bodies helped understand the processes of actors and to obtain information about emergency preparedness.

Results

The results of this project had a significant impact of public health, community resilience, international cooperation and cost containment.

Visit the website for more information about the PsyCris project