Online proceedings for the IRCT General Assembly and 10th International Scientific Symposium - Delivering on the Promise of the Right to Rehabilitation

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Time: 14:10 to 15:40 Download Poster

Challenges of implementing mental health services to foreign born torture survivors living in the United States

Presenter(s) and co-author(s): Ms. Alison Burke ( Northern Virginia Family Service - Program for Survivors of Torture and Severe Trauma - United States of America )

Background

The objective of the rehabilitation of victims of torture is to repair the damage caused on them and to socially reintegrate them into mainstream society. Rehabilitation permits the beneficiary to adapt to his/her new environment by means of a variety of mechanisms. This is because the assistance they receive permits them to stimulate other resources and consequently facilitate their restoration. This is particularly true when the aid has significance for the victim. A reflection on the social representations of the support received by the victim is decisive for an improved approach to rehabilitation.

Methodology

In this study carried out with 08 victims of torture and two caregivers, we tried to find out how to represent the assistance received by victims and if their social representations are taken into account when deciding on the assistance. The study has as theoretical basis, the paradigm of the complex theory of Morin.
The purpose of this work is to elucidate the role of social representation of assistance on the quality of aid; given that the manner in which the victim perceives this aid could favor or disfavor rehabilitation. Like any scientific research, this study required the collaboration of key informants through informed consent. The establishment of ethical standards was followed by the issuing of a research permit by the Executive Director of the Trauma Centre Cameroon. It was after these preliminary requirements were met that the instruments for data collection were produced such as question guides for each group.

Results

The results obtained provide insights that can significantly contributed to the rehabilitation of torture victims. Generally, when social representation is taken into consideration, rehabilitation is more effective and sustainable. Furthermore, it prevents relapses usually observed in assisting victims. It also increases the self-esteem of the victim as he/she feels involved in his/her healing process.
It is in this perspective to include documentation into the process of rehabilitation of victims that Trauma Center facilitated the task of producing this article.

Funding & No Conflicts Declaration

This research is financed by Trauma Centre Cameroon to improve our rehabilitation approach.

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