Walid Abdul-Hamid1 

1Dubai Healthcare City, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Trauma Aid UK (previously HAP UK &Ireland) conducted three EMDR trainings in Turkey: the first was in The Middle East on 28th November 2013. Since then, 3 groups of mental health trainees completed 3 parts EMDR training. In total 86 clinicians were trained. Also, in June 2016, the first part of three parts EMDR training in Nepal was completed following the Nepal Earthquake in 2015.

A survey was conducted at the beginning of each of the above-mentioned training courses. Participants were asked to consent to participate in the study and, if they did, they will be given the ‘The Need for Trauma-based Services’ quantitative and qualitative Questionnaire, or its Arabic translation. 63 participants working with Refugees in the Middle East EMDR training and these were compared with 37 Nepalese Participants completed the survey.

The results analysis of these surveys showed the significantly higher PTSD prevalence in the man-made Middle Eastern conflict trauma compared to the prevalence following Nepal natural Earthquake. 52% of the Middle Eastern mental health professionals suggested that PTSD is the major mental health problem in their country, compared to only 6% of the Nepalese mental health professionals. Both the Middle Eastern (33%) and Nepalese (27%) felt they were only able to meet around third of their client’s needs. They felt that training in EMDR in their mother-tongue will help increase the meeting of these needs. Other suggestion of service provisions and innovations were suggested to meet more of the needs of their trauma survivors.

This study highlighted the high need for trauma mental health services of the Middle Eastern refugees as reported by mental health professionals working in the neighboring countries. The important difference of these needs from those of the Nepal people confirms that man-made trauma can cause much more mental health disturbance and needs. Recommendation for training and service development for Middle Eastern refugees were made.