The “Nicosia e-symposium on Crisis, Trauma, and Disaster Psychology: Lessons from across Europe” took place with great success at the University of Cyprus on October 9th 2020 and was co-organized by the Cyprus Psychologists Association (CyPSA) and the Standing Committee on Crisis, Trauma and Disaster (SCCTD) of the European Federation of Psychologists Association (EFPA). Registration for the event was complementary in honor of the World Mental Health Day and the forty founding years of CyPSA. More than 250 participants from across Europe registered for the event, which was broadcasted live via a cloud-based video conferencing service.
The President of CyPSA Dr. Eleni Karayianni offered introductory remarks highlighting the need for collaboration across agencies and disciplines and the urgent need for investment in mental health at times of crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chair of the SCCTD Magda Rooze highlighted the importance of the Standing Committee Crisis, Disaster and Trauma Psychology with 35 members representing 28 countries. The SC has her meetings twice a year and is aimed at exchanging expertise and lessons learned to support psychologists in the European countries in their work on crises, disasters and trauma. The meetings are combined with the organization of symposia in the hosting countries, which means a great opportunity to meet colleagues and learn from each other.
The e-symposium highlighted the need for the psychological response to crisis, disaster and trauma along three thematic areas and it included nine invited presentations by 11 speakers from Cyprus, Netherlands, Serbia, UK, and Spain. In the first theme “Supporting Vulnerable Groups" presenters introduced the role of ‘Citizenship Education And Social Emotional Learning To Prevent Radicalisation That Can Lead To Violent Behavior’ . They also highlighted the importance of “Supporting The Needs Of Children, Families, Schools And Communities After Critical And Trauma Incidents” and the need for “Community based psychosocial support: The role ofthe Cyprus Red Cross”.