OSE and the victims of terror: an assessment of 18 months of the Psycho-trauma and Resilience Unit

After the January 2015 terrorist attacks in France, OSE created the Psycho-trauma and Resilience Unit (PRU), meant to provide psychological support to the victims of terrorist attacks and their families and relatives.

The PRU is based in OSE’s Health Center, in the 12th district in Paris. The team brings together around 40 psychologists and psychiatrists with different professional backgrounds.

OSE was able to create this unit on very short notice thanks to the experience, the commitment and the responsiveness of all its teams. Several training sessions took place between May 2015 and February 2016, given by internationally recognized Israeli experts in the field of psycho-trauma from the Israel Trauma Coalition (ITC) and by French legal and clinical experts.

The Unit offers individual consultations by psychiatrists and clinicians for the people who could be affected by the attacks (direct victims, their relatives, witnesses, regular customers in bars where shootings took place…).

In the event of a crisis, the Unit is ready to take care of the victims, acting in partnership and cooperation with the local and national care system activated by the authorities: the Unit was called up after the attacks in Paris on November 13th and more recently in Nice on July 14th.

The Unit provides briefings and training sessions to meet the requests made by the institutions that receive vulnerable people: students, children at risk, elderly people, Holocaust survivors, and people with disabilities.

Schools were affected by the attacks as a result of the exceptional security measures that were required, causing powerful anxiety for the children and their parents, as well as their teachers. The Unit is currently training psychologists in order to prepare the pedagogical teams to face potential crises.

The PRU is also participating to national enquiries started after the 2015 terrorist attacks.

2015-2016’s achievements:

– About 500 interviews
– 77 interventions in classes after the 2015 attacks, addressing 1,886 children
-25 interventions to prepare teachers : 250 of them followed between 1 and 3 lessons
-18 interventions in Jewish community centers, addressing 230 people

The Unit has received the support of the JDC, the UJA-NY Federation and the FMS.