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Broadening the scope of the Social Resilience & Security programme

The Social Resilience & Security interdisciplinary programme broadens its scope by imbedding two research projects lead by Dr. Joanne Mouthaan. The projects adress suicide prevention skills and mental health of Ukraine refugees. Both projects will be imbedded in the programme with the aim to improve the research with key expertise from differential social research disciplines and key societal stakeholders.

Developing E-learning in suicide prevention skills for mental health professionals

As suicide rates in the Netherlands have risen dramatically in recent years, one of the goals of the programme is to structurally embed training in suicide prevention skills in educational programs for psychologists in the Netherlands. Structural education will provide healthcare professionals in training with knowledge and skills to identify, discuss, diagnose and treat suicidal behaviour. 

As part of the Third National Suicide Prevention Agenda, Leiden University, the RINO group, and 113 Zelfmoordpreventie are collaborating to develop a teaching package to embed suicide prevention skills as a continuous thread in all psychology programs in the Netherlands, from bachelor's to specialist training. The focus of the package is on prevention, diagnostics, treatment options, crisis management, and professional responsibility. 

The package will consist of e-learning modules and blended learning materials. As a result, psychology graduates can enter the professional field with the appropriate level of knowledge, skills and self-confidence regarding suicide problems. After the psychology curriculum, other programs for mental health professionals will follow, such as medicine/psychiatry, and higher vocational education.

‘Care providers receive many questions, from teachers for example, about possible stress reactions in Ukrain refugee children and their parents.’ 

NADIYA*: Dutch inter-university research initiative on Ukraine refugees

Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine in February '22, millions of people have fled the country in a short time. Care providers receive many questions, from teachers for example, about possible stress reactions in parents and children and the risk of psychopathologizing when it concerns (for the time being) normal reactions to crisis. There is a need for supply on demand and needs assessment. Therefore, in the current project we address the following research questions:

What is the impact of adaptation to drastically changed circumstances in children on the development of their mental health? What are the needs of different groups of refugees from Ukraine? Which low-threshold early intervention applications are available and how are they evaluated by users? What are facilitating and hindering factors for the mental health of Ukrainian refugees in the Netherlands in the short, medium and longer term?

Leiden University is one of the collaborating universities and mental healthcare institutions in this research initiative, together with Utrecht University, Vrije Universiteit, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Amsterdam UMC, ARQ National Psychotrauma Centre and Parnassia Groep.

*Nadiya means hope.

Joanne Mouthaan is an assistant professor and educational coordinator at the Clinical Psychology Department. She studies the effects of psychotrauma on the health and well-being in diverse populations, such as uniformed workers, disaster and injury survivors, and various clinical and non-clinical groups. In 2015 she was awarded the Jan van Dijk Victimology and Victims' Rights Award for her dissertation “Injured Bodies, Injured Souls?” (2014) on the prediction and prevention of trauma-related psychological symptoms after injury.

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