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War triggers immense stress, which can develop into post-traumatic stress. The first to be affected are, of course, the direct victims, and in France in particular, the refugees who come to seek asylum. But those involved in warfare (soldiers, humanitarian aid workers, diplomats, journalists) are also confronted, whether they are in the field of operations or whether the conflict revives an older traumatic memory. Expatriates may also find themselves exposed to PTSD, as they are posted to a country suddenly at war. Even a citizen of a peaceful country can be destabilized by a conflict in another country: by exposure to distressing images and news, but also by memories of a war that affected his or her family, or by a journey into exile. Children, whether from a country at war or at peace, are not spared either.

The Cn2r provides a range of resources to help everyone, whatever their situation, to identify any psychological injury they may be suffering from, to treat it and get better.

Understanding psychotrauma

Refugees and asylum seekers

Even if they have no protection papers or are in an irregular situation, migrants can seek psychological support from PASS health centers (permanence d'accès aux soins de santé) or emergency services. There are also specialized facilities such as the Centre Primo Levi in Paris and Osiris in Marseille.

Cn2r provides information on how to support and care for exiles. However, in many cultures, calling on a mental health professional is not taken for granted, and many people are unaware that this type of help even exists.

It's up to the people who accompany migrants, or the healthcare professionals who meet them on a healthcare journey, to be attentive and raise the possibility of a consultation with them.

See our Migrations dossier

Citizens, association volunteers, families and individuals welcoming refugees

Talking to children about war


Two interviews that provide keys through the example of Ukraine.

Dr Julie RollingProf. Marie-Rose Moro


An anonymous, freephone number 08 08 800 321 Écoute Défense is available to members of the armed forces, former members of the armed forces or civilians, who find it difficult to express their suffering, or who witness the difficulties of a loved one.

The callers, who are army psychologists trained in post-traumatic stress disorder, undertake to give a response within 24 hours, and to suggest a consultation within a week at most. They will then refer you to one of the 55 medical centers or nine army hospitals specializing in PTSD.

The Ministry of Defense has also set up an experimental system of ATHOS homes, to strengthen support for psychologically injured servicemen and women, outside the medical care system.


Humanitarians, diplomats, journalists, international civil servants or observers, expatriates

Journalists, diplomats and humanitarian aid workers may think they are protected from the impact of war by professional reflexes and skills. The reality is quite different. Certain stressful situations, or the repetition of such situations throughout a career, can leave lasting scars and destabilize even the most seasoned veteran, sometimes years after the event.

Even though talking about difficulties may still be taboo in some professions, it's important not to remain alone and to talk to your colleagues and superiors. If you need to, get in touch with your occupational physician, mental health professionals and the local medical-psychological emergency unit (CUMP). You can also seek psychological counselling.

In the field or on your return from a mission, it's important to take good care of yourself: listen to yourself and take care of your sleep and rest time, maintain activities and relationships that are important to you, and pay attention to your lifestyle and balance.

[/vc_row_inner]Interview with Dr Olivia Hicks
"How to survive to a post-traumatic stress?"

Jean-Paul Mari | TEDxCannes

Professionals in contact with refugees in France

Frontline professionals: welcoming populations exposed to war
Guide FrançaisEnglish guide

Coordination: Dr Amaury Mengin and Dr Julie Rolling, psychiatrists at CRP Grand Est, in association with Pr Pierre Vidailhet and Dr Dominique Mastelli.

Teachers: welcoming children arriving from war zones
Find out more

Cultural resources

Waltz with Bashir

Discover all the cultural recommendations on the theme "Wars".

Cultural resources
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