The refugee crisis in Greece: training border security, police, volunteers and aid workers in psychological first aid


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Abstract

As the Syrian refugee crisis continues unabated, Greece remains one of the first ports of sanctuary. While the country is still gripped by one of the worst financial and societal crises of the past 40 years, little attention or funding was available to provide mental health and psychosocial support to migrants or refugees. In 2007, Nikolaos Gkionakis, along with other colleagues, founded the Babel Day Centre to provide mental health care and psychosocial support for migrants and refugees. When the current crisis began, he was perfectly placed as one of the trainers for a project training border security, police, volunteers and aid workers in psychological first aid and self care for carers in Greece. This personal reflection gives context and background to the crisis, discusses the Babel Day Centre, and highlights and details the psychological first aid project, which was supported by both the War Trauma Foundation and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

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