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Psychosocial intervention in extreme military violence: Effectiveness in enhancing children's socio-emotional competence

A/ Prof. Kirsi Peltonen , Dr Samir Qouta, Dr Eyad El Sarraj, Prof. Raija-Leena Punamäki

Although researchers agree that war and military violence form a serious burden on child well-being and mental health, many are seeking positive resources and resilience among traumatized children. Our knowledge is increasing about protective and healing processes among traumatized children, and it is time to introduce resilience and positive coping into effective interventions. Accordingly, the presentation focuses on effectiveness of a school-based intervention in enhancing children's socio-emotional competence. The health promotion intervention known as Child-to-Child approach was applied to Palestinian children in Gaza in times of intensive military violence. The method provides children an opportunity to learn about and to teach their peers and younger siblings about basic health care. lt provides strategies, tools and activities that are aimed at increasing personal and collective efficacy. The health promotion strategy is combined with brief cognitive behavioural therapeutic approach to alleviate trauma symptoms.

Recorded: October 2009, Dubrovnik - Cavtat, Croatia.
Coping & Resilience International Conference

Organiser: The Brisbane Institute of Strengths Based Practice

Kirsi Peltonen
Kirsi Peltonen
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A/ Prof. Kirsi Peltonen

Assistant Professor , Open University, University of Tampere, Finland.
Research: Psychological trauma in childhood and preventive interventions

Dr Samir Qouta

Director of research for the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP) Palestinian Territory

Dr Eyad El Sarraj

Eyad El Sarraj, a Psychiatrist, was born in April 1944, in Beer Sheva-Palestine, and was forced to move to live in Gaza-Palestine, in 1948. He received his Medical degree in Alexandria-Egypt, and his degree in Psychiatry in London-UK. He is a human rights and peace activist, founder and Chairman of the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, and Secretary General of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizen's Rights. He is a Member of many local and international health and human rights organizations. His activity in human rights has caused him hardships by both Israeli and Palestinian Authorities. In 1996 he was arrested and tortured for condemning torture and violation of human rights by Palestinian Authorities. Winner of the Physicians for Human Rights Award in 1997 and the Martin Ennals Award for human rights defenders in 1998. Dr. El-Sarraj publishes extensively on issues of peace, civil society, human rights and psycho-politics.

Prof. Raija-Leena Punamäki

Professor in Psychology, University of Tampere, docent, Fellow until 2011. Prof. Raija-Leena Punamäki's fields of Expertise: child development, psychosocial trauma, preventive interventions and human rights.

Raija-Leena  Punamäki
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Australia Society for Psychological MedicineANZAPWorld Council for PyschtherapyPACFABrisbane Institute of Strength Base PraticeISHHR - International Society for Health and Human RightWAS - World Association for Sexual HealthMissing of HopeAABCAPSTARTTSANSA