fleurThis site aims at orienting psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, police officers, fire fighters, customs officers or any professional associated with emergency, individual or collective catastrophes as well as any critical situations, possibly traumatising either because they are involved in psychological support (care team, peers support or support to the victims) or simply because they are constantly confronted to critical situations and persons victim of drama and tragedy.

Since the beginning of time, humans, either individually or collectively, have been faced with various and numerous disasters. Whether natural catastrophes or due to human actions, by chance or by design, only few persons have been spared such experiences at any point in time or whatever the place. Although the development of information technology may at times create the impression that such events are proliferating and worsening in our day, we tend to forget that our history books are fraught with bloody wars, horrendous massacres, despicable genocides, plots and base treachery. Over the last few years, the impact of these tragic events, of these dramas in peoples’ lives and on their social groups, has elicited a growing interest. A measure of this concern is shown in the increasing research on the suffering caused and the responses that we can offer. Little by little, on a path paved with uncertainties, controversy and criticisms, the notion and practice of emergency psychology arose. Today the principle is established that any person exposed to a potentially traumatising experience may show psychological reactions which may have lasting effects. Trauma is defined as an event during which people may have died or have been severely affected in their physical or psychological integrity, liable to cause drastic changes with lasting unpleasant effects on that person, his/her relatives and on society as a whole.

Once the existence of such suffering was recognised, and in order to provide individuals and society with support and the necessary structures under such tragic circumstances, the Swiss Federation of Psychologists (FSP) took an interest in offering to organisations which may require help, the services of professionals trained in the area of emergency psychology.