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Armed Conflict

Theme leader:  Jana Javakhishvili
Please contact the theme leader if you would like to initiate new projects or have other ideas about global collaboration related to this topic. You can also directly submit your project proposal here.
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The recent events in Israel, Gaza, Ukraine, but also Afghanistan, Sudan, Jemen, Ethiopia, DRC, Armenia and other areas in the world call for available relevant information and guidelines on how we can support trauma survivors caught up in armed conflict.

We are facing extremely difficult times globally. While the war in Ukraine is about to go into its third year, another horrible war broke out in Israel and Palestine/Gaza, causing unrest and uncertainty in the whole middle east region, and immense human suffering. Some of our colleagues involved in the GCTS are personally and directly affected. Our hearts go out to all human beings who suffer from the terror and atrocities caused by this war and other armed conflicts across the globe. 

As GCTS we recognize the importance of suitable mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) interventions - even under the most acute and horrifying situations. Our Armed Conflict theme group has over the last months been working on a position paper related to such interventions during ongoing conflict. We aim to present this in the upcoming year.


In the meantime, on this page we present information that may be of helpful in situations of armed conflict, both for survivors or for trauma professionals.


Please contact Jana Javakhishvili for questions or suggestions.

For our projects on refugees and join the global network of reFUgees TraUmatic stress REsearch (FUTURE)


Surviving Warfare Adversities. A Brief Survival Advice for Civilians Under War Stress. By Arik Shalev

One year since Russia’s attack on Ukraine - A commentary by Jana Javakhishvili

Gaza and Israel

The GCTS Armed Conflict theme would like to express their worry and concern about the immense human suffering and mental health problems that will arise from this violence in all who are affected by the armed conflict in Gaza and Israel. We condemn all acts of violence and abuse against humanity.

Links received by Palestinian and Israeli professionals for mental health support



  • Enosh  - General mental health care, including social integration and rehabilitation efforts. 

  • Natal -  Multidisciplinary treatment and support to direct and indirect victims of trauma due to terror and war in Israel.

  • Metiv Hospital-associated psychotrauma institute


From Ukraine

Self-help psychoeducational resource and online counselling

For persons experiencing trauma related symptoms we refer to a self-help psychoeducational resource and online counselling for those who need it. It is run by a team of professionals of Federation Global Initiative on Psychiatry (FGIP) and Ukrainian consultants.


Web site:




Web site: .




Links received from Ukrainian professionals ​to support/donate

To donate to the reliable charitable fund "Povernys zhyvym" ("Come back alive"). Your donation will be used to buy the protection and medi cal supplies. Instruction on the donation here.

Even a small donation, multiplied by the number of supporters, will make a difference. So please, share this with your colleagues, friends, other people that you can outreach, share on FB or other media etc., even if you yourselves are not ready to donate directly.

Please make the record in this depersonalized form. You will be asked just to enter your country and the sum of your donation. No other information will be requested.


The Journal of Traumatic Stress has created a ‘virtual special issue’ on war and terrorism


ESTSS statement on the Israel Gaza conflict 

ESTSS statement on the Russia Ukraine war

ESTSS recommendations for mental health professionals to act 

An ESTSS training program for Ukrainian professionals has been launched funded by ESTSS

ESTSS members in Lithuania, Georgia, and Poland are active in preparation for psychosocial care for Ukrainian refugees, and more countries will join​

European Journal of Psychotraumatology, ESTSS's journal, has released a call-for-papers: Early intervention in the aftermath of trauma: assessment and response. Guest editor Rodrigo Figueroa.

ESTSS TENTS: TENTS guidelines for psychosocial care following disasters and major incidents

Mental health screening tools

Global Psychotrauma Screen  (GPS, in over 35 languages, also including Amharic, Arabic, Hebrew, Russian, and Ukrainian) developed by Global Collaboration on Traumatic Stress

Please contact us at if you wish to collaborate on GPS translation and cultural adaptation for other languages needed in areas impacted by armed conflict.

Instruments on Grief and Bereavement

Other tools see Assessment


Other relevant links for psychosocial support


mhGAP Humanitarian Intervention Guide (‎mhGAP-HIG)‎: clinical management of mental, neurological and substance use conditions in humanitarian emergencies (

Psychological first aid: Guide for field workers

Self-Help Plus (SH+): WHO’s 5-session stress management course for large groups

GROUP PROBLEM MANAGEMENT PLUS (GROUP PM+): Group psychological help for adults impaired by distress in communities exposed to adversity

Doing What Matters in Times of Stress: An Illustrated Guide is a stress management guide for coping with adversity. The guide aims to equip people with practical skills to help cope with stress. A few minutes each day are enough to practice the self-help techniques...

Assessing mental health and psychosocial needs and resources

WHO-UNHCR needs assessment guidelines

IFRC Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support

contributes knowledge and provides service to the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement.

Online orientation sessions on Psychological First Aid

Emergency activities, programmes, interventions and tools – Psychosocial Support IFRC (

Refugee Emergency: Defining and Implementing Novel Evidence-based Psychosocial Interventions (RE-DEFINE) – Psychosocial Support IFRC (


Mental Health and Psychosocial Support for Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Migrants on the Move in Europe – Psychosocial Support IFRC (


Problem Management Plus – Psychosocial Support IFRC (

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) 

Psychological first aid for children

The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC)

The IASC Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings provides resources and information for anyone who is involved in the psychosocial and psychological care of people affected by the crisis in the Ukraine. These resources can be accessed here.

Please contact Valeria Florez at  and Carmen Valle who to share MHPSS response efforts in Ukraine.


UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people.

Services for refugees



Forced displacement: refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people (IDPs) (



European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE)


Mental health and psychosocial support during ongoing armed conflict - developing a position paper

Project leader: Jana Javakhishvili Ilia State University, Georgia

Project group: Leisha Beardmore, Stanford University, USA; Stefanie Freel, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Chris Hoeboer, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Miranda Olff, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Janne Punski-Hoogervorst, University of Haifa, Israel; Joe Ruzek, Palo Alto University, USA;  Arieh Shalev, New York University Grossman School of Medicine, USA.


During war hostilities civilians are exposed to a myriad of severe stressors, major losses, and extreme situational demands. Whilst such stressor might be traumatic in the long run, the task at hand during hostilities is survival and harm mitigation. At such time survival efforts not only involves the individual, but also families, attachment networks, and larger groups. They encompass physical and psychological survival, attaining food shelter and safety, re-evaluating the new realities’ constraints and openings, maintaining orientation and communication, adjusting to losses and overcoming exposure to grotesque death and deconfiguration.


At such time as well, individuals’ inherent resilience and intuitive resourcefulness are challenged by unexpected and, at times, inescapable stressors and require adjustment and adaptation. Psychological first aid, including guiding, training and advising lay helpers and professionals is important during hostilities. However, understanding and addressing the burden on those directly exposed is truly critical: they are the ones who evaluate threat and protection, assess risks and opportunities, sooth children – and one another; process and adjust to changing situational constraints, weigh information accuracy and relevance, derive and test predictions and courses of action and engage in salutogenic activities.


We need to directly address those at harm’s way, help by advice and guidance based on extant knowledge taken from disaster and combat psychiatry, from relocation and refugees situations, captivity and genocide survivorship and other empirical or descriptive sources. Inherent to this work is the repeated observations of individuals and families’ resourcefulness during extreme conditions and a belief in inherent resiliency potential in each individual.


To review the literature and create a position paper on the impact of armed conflict and potential interventions during ongoing conflict.


  • Javakhishvili et al., in prep. Position paper: Mental health and psychosocial support during ongoing armed conflict 

Nadiya project
Health of Ukrainian displaced persons: Risk and supportive factors in response to the war
See Displaced persons

The language of trauma in testimonies of the Russia-Ukraine war (2022-2025) - The Narratives of War (NoW) Virtual Exhibit

Project leaders

Victor Kuperman, Department of Linguistics and Languages, Reading Lab, McMaster University, Canada; Larysa Zasiekina, Lesya Ukrainka Volyn National University, Ukraine &  Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge (; Serhii Zasiekin, Lesya Ukrainka Volyn National University & University College London, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, (



Since February 24th, 2022, due to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, millions of Ukrainians have been displaced and many more exposed to extreme violence, abuse, deprivation, and loss. Many survivors of war never voice their experiences, while others are only able to articulate their trauma in a selective manner long after the immediate impact. This contributes to a general lack of awareness and understanding of the realities on the ground.


The Narratives of War (NoW) Virtual Exhibit, available at offers first-hand accounts from civilians during wartime and could serve as a useful resource for interdisciplinary research on trauma. With contributions from thousands of witnesses of all ages and from all regions of Ukraine, the NoW project serves as both a timeline and a map of ongoing warfare, contributes to the national and global cultural memory of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and offers a platform for the unfolding stories of suffering, resilience, and hope.

Please contact the project leaders for further collaboration on these testimonies.


New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRFE-2022-00802)

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