dernière modification le 18 avril 2019

Medical and psychological support

Experiencing difficult events can cause substantial emotional shock and psychological damage. It’s important to get help. Emergency and long-term psychological support is available to you.

You are a victim of a terrorist act > Medical and psychological support

A terrorist attack can have a significant psychological impact. Some people react immediately with feelings of anguish, panic, anxiety, stupefaction, a sense of the unreal, and sometimes with physical pain and trembling. Others won’t feel the effects for days, weeks or months. Emergency and long-term medical and psychological support is available to you.

In an emergency, health professionals from Medical and Psychological Emergency Units (Cellules d’Urgence Médico-Psychologique — CUMP) are mobilized by France’s Emergency Medical Help Services (Services d’Aide Médicale Urgente — SAMU) to provide early medical and psychological care to victims. Trained to handle psychological trauma, these professionals include psychiatrists, psychologists and specialized nurses.

Initial CUMP support
CUMP professionals are available to you at the site of the trauma, in healthcare facilities and at reception centers for families and those involved. The support they provide is aimed at attenuating the psychological impact of the events you have just experienced.

CUMPs are present in every French department under the auspices of the SAMU and can be reached from France by dialing 112 by cell phone or 15 from a fixed-line telephone.).

Problems may appear in the days, weeks and months following the trauma in the form of anguish, feelings of uneasiness or insecurity, irritability, sleeping difficulties, and depression. Distressing thoughts, sensations, images, and sounds of the event can occur and re-occur night and day. These issues can make family and professional life difficult and affect your health. Adults of all ages can be affected, as can teens and children. Behavioral changes, fear, difficulty falling asleep, or problems concentrating at work or school may arise.

In all cases, effective medical support is available. Don't hesitate to consult a healthcare professional, even long after the trauma has occurred and even if the effort seems hard to make. Specialized professional help is vital to avoiding post-traumatic psychological disorders.

A family member’s post-traumatic psychological condition can affect others who often have trouble understanding such problems and don’t dare talk about it. This can generate a feeling of guilt in all concerned. The family is the first resource for a traumatized person and is often associated with the care, without deviating from the privileged communication between patient and physician.

Medical and psychological follow-up care
Your general medical doctor, the CUMP and non-government organizations will be able to help you and direct you to mental health professionals with whom they are used to working, and who are specialized in providing care for post-traumatic psychological disorders.

The corresponding expenses (doctor visits) are part of cost of care. Your share of those costs will be taken into account by the Compensation Fund for Victims of Acts of Terrorism and Other Offenses (Fonds de Garantie des victimes d’actes de Terrorisme et d’autres Infractions — FGTI), when determining your damages.