Project information

Trauma Aid in the Middle East

We can’t stop conflict but can aid psychological distress by delivering to health workers free training in EMDR, an effective PTSD trauma therapy. Trainees then treat 100s of children and adults who’ve suffered bombings, killings and displacement, often in refugee camps, in the Middle East.


Charity information: Trauma Aid UK

Trauma Aid UK logo
  • Need


    The conflict in the Middle East is causing a huge and growing demand for an effective way of treating trauma and psychological distress in people affected by the conflict. Many of these people are displaced and seeking refuge in neighbouring countries. There is a shortage of mental health professionals with the expertise to treat trauma including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).


    Instead of giving people food it is better to enable them to fish or farm. Instead of treating a few traumatised people, we train and support local health professionals.

    EMDR is an effective trauma therapy recognised by World Health Organisation (2013). By providing training and ongoing online supervision in EMDR, our project develops capacity locally to treat people traumatised and displaced by conflict across the region. Many of the therapists we train are working in refugee camps.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Improve psychological therapy available to traumatised people in the middle East.


    » Offering free training to Middle East mental health professionals, building on their skills. The training is in two stages, 9 days in total

    What success will look like

    Monitor the number of participants attending training. Assess the need for further trainings based on feedback of professionals working in the area.

    Aim 2

    Increase the number of health professionals able to treat traumatised people accross the Middle East


    » Providing training in EMDR and offering ongoing online supervision and support to ensure the effective use of the treatment.

    What success will look like

    Expand the network of EMDR trained mental health professionals. Monitor the quantity and quality of online supervision from the UK.

    Aim 3

    Nurture professional development. Encouraging future expansion of local training and treatment.


    » Provide supervision to support participants in becoming consultants and trainers, to then train and supervise more health professionals.

    What success will look like

    Monitoring the progress of each participant, supporting them to become supervisors and trainers themselves.

  • Impact


    CHANGE: Number of psychologically distressed people treated with an effective trauma therapy increases. SUCCESS: Monitor numbers of people treated based on trainee feedback.

    CHANGE: Local health professionals able to work with trauma increases. SUCCESS: Monitor numbers of trainees.

    CHANGE: Numbers of locally sponsored trainings increase. SUCCESS: Monitor numbers based on trainee feedback.

    CHANGE: Local psychological infrastructure grows. SUCCESS: Report on local initiatives as they arise.


    Safety: We run the training in areas where there is some stability/safety and our participants travel from their various countries to this area - currently in Turkey.

    Take-up: There is a risk that local health professionals will not go on to use their training. The ongoing online supervision supports them in using the treatment in an effective way.

    Budget: The budget available to run/support the work may be insufficient. This opportunity to gather donations is a way to mitigate this risk.


    The success of the project will be reported through our website – – and people can join HAP UK & Ireland and receive regular monthly-updates and newsletters.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £30,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £4,500 Training Costs Venue hire, catering and training material
      £13,000 Travel Expenses Travel, Visas and daily expenses for trainers and co-ordinators.
      £7,000 Hotel costs Hotel accommodation for training team (9 people).
      £3,500 Payment to YMCA Stipend paid to YMCA Istanbul for staff use
      £2,000 Bursaries To fund 4 participants attend the training
  • Background


    The project is set in the Middle East. The location of the training is currently Turkey as it is a safe location. Participants travel from all over the region to attend the training- Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Jordan.


    The beneficiaries are people who have been traumatised by conflict across the whole region. Many of the therapists we have trained in previous trainings are working in refugee camps providing relief from psychological distress.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The board of trustees and volunteers at HAP UK & Ireland have a wealth of expertise from decades of experience and training in the mental health field. HAP UK & Ireland has experienced unmitigated success in delivering similar projects internationally, most notably in Bosnia; and have trained 50 therapists in the Middle East so far.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Sian Morgan

    HAP UK & Ireland President