Psycho-social center for trauma therapy, Diakonie Kosovo Western Balkans

Psycho-social centre for trauma therapy, Diakonie Kosovo, is a Mitrovica-based non-governmental organisation active since 2012. However, the centre has functioned under the umbrella of Diakonie Kosovo since 2007, in close collaboration with Diakonie Trier from Germany. Diakonie Kosovo is currently managing several projects, including a multi-ethnic youth centre, biological chicken farm (staffed by individuals with physical disabilities), and a training centre for crafts.

diakonie-1

The aim of the psycho-social centre is to provide trauma therapy for people in need, particularly those who have experienced adverse events during the war in Kosovo or were the victims of domestic and/or sexual violence, returnees, refugees, and marginalised groups (including Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian (RAE), Serbs and Bosnians). The centre works under the premise that if individuals are enabled to process their traumatic experiences, they will also be better able to reconcile with others. Therefore, the centre’s mission is to empower people in need and help them to acquire new perspectives, supporting them and showing that the solution to numerous challenges they face can only be found through joint effort.

The main objective of the centre is to provide a long-term training on trauma therapy for mental-health professionals in order to increase the quality of service provided to traumatised people. The centre financially covers most of training costs, whilst its staff provide supervision of other professionals and organisations that deal with traumatised people.

The staff includes licensed clinical psychologists, family medicine specialist and a psychiatrist. All staff members have been extensively trained in trauma therapy.

Major achievements

The centre has created a network of different professionals and organisations in order to reach out to as many people in need as possible. Some of the institutions the centre is connected to include the Association of War Veterans, Center for Protection of Women and Children, Center of Mental Health, local hospitals and family health homes. People working in these institutions are well informed about the centre's activities and its methods of identifying trauma symptoms. Moreover, trainees specialising in trauma therapy who all come from different parts of Kosovo have agreed to work with people with trauma-related issues.

In line with the centre’s second objective - capacity building of mental health experts - the centre is currently delivering an accredited long- term specialisation on trauma therapy. Trainees are qualified psychologists, psychiatrists and doctors, and total number of participants is 30. Moreover, short workshops have been delivered in trauma field for mental health professionals of different ethnicities, including Albanian, Serbs, Bosnian and Germans. Besides, the centre is also providing supervision to mental health professionals and organisations and short workshops for schools personnel.

Last updated: July 2015