Doctors and teachers will receive specific training and will have specific resources to detect among the population the possible psychological consequences of the attack on Las Ramblas on 17 August.
Primary care centers (PACs) and schools are considered a “good gateway” to the detection of cases of adults or minors who, although they have not been directly involved in the terrorist attack, can pass between the next six and twelve months by anxiety pictures motivated to some degree by the attack. Experts in mental health who worked in Madrid after 11-M and who now collaborate with the City Council estimate that 1% of the population (some 16,000 people) will have emotional effects (insomnia, fear, insecurity or sadness).
“Professionals (of health and education) must be trained if there is any alarm signal in their centers,” said Salut Commissioner Gemma Tarafa, who yesterday led an extraordinary meeting of the Mental Health Taula together with the tinenta d’alcaldia of Drets de Ciutadania, Laia Ortiz. This meeting served to share information and take stock of the emergency response that took place in the city to care for those affected by the terrorist attack last August.
The commission was formed by 42 members of different entities and consortiums related to social and mental care in Barcelona, gathered to share strategies to meet future psychological needs derived from 17-A. The commission will meet every three months to reassess the actions for at least one year.
The professionals (of the health and education) must be trained if any alarm signal goes on in their centers »
In addition to the specific training of teachers and physicians, the agency yesterday valued giving continuity to the care of the people affected by the tragic event, deriving them from the emergency care service initially deployed to the regular attention from the Atenció Primària de Salut and the Mental Health network.
Outpatient care from October
Therefore, starting next October, all those people served from the Center d’Urgències i Emergències Socials de Barcelona (CUESB) and the Social Services will be treated from ambulatory care.
The doctors will follow training through entities specialized in dealing with victims of terrorism and will provide them with guidelines to deal with and manage possible ailments arising from the psychological impact caused by the attack. Tarafa indicated that the affected profile is modified as time passes : “Who is no longer directly affected, or family member of an affected person, may not feel legitimated to ask for psychological help but that does not mean he does not need it.”
Special attention in schools near Las Ramblas
For their part, the schools will work alongside pedagogical advisory teams on all of them at educational centers near Las Ramblas, where the attack took place. It will focus on detecting possible cases of post-traumatic stress among students.
From the same day that the attack took place, a total of 730 people and 80 professionals who took part in the emergency operation were treated
Tinenta d’alcaldia Laia Ortiz recalled that from the very moment of the attack , a team of 30 psychologists coordinated by the CUESB was activated and a psychological helpline and different face-to-face attention points were set up.
From the same day that the attack took place, a total of 730 people and 80 professionals who took part in the emergency operation were treated . Some 170 employees of the shops of Las Ramblas have also been informed.
The Commisió de Seguiment del Pla de Salut Mental agreed on the need to inform citizens so that they learn to channel in the best way possible feelings of fear of a new attack in Barcelona. It was proposed to create psychoeducational groups among the elderly, children and immigrants.