This paper explores the recent history of care provision for survivors of trauma and highlights current challenges for those who care for trauma survivors.
The European countries have a long history of exposure to large-scale trauma. In the early 1990s the increasing awareness of the consequences of trauma within the mental health community led to the foundation of local societies for psychotraumatology across Europe and the European Society of Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS), which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2018. The focus of this article is to describe the current state of care for survivors of trauma in the 15 European countries where ESTSS member societies have been established. Brief descriptions on the historical burden of trauma in each country are followed by an overview of the care system for trauma survivors in the countries, the state-of-the-art of interventions, current challenges in caring for survivors and the topics that need to be most urgently addressed in the future. The reports from the different countries demonstrate how important steps towards a better provision of care for survivors of trauma have been made in Europe. Given the cultural and economic diversity of the continent, there are also differences between the European countries, for instance with regard to the use of evidence-based treatments. Strategies to overcome these differences, like the new ESTSS training curricula for care-providers across Europe, are briefly discussed.
Schäfer I, et al. Trauma and trauma care in Europe. European Journal of Psychotraumatology 2019; 9:https://doi.org/10.1080/20008198.2018.1556553.