Medical & Psychological Support
Torture can cause a broad range of physical and psychological problems, scars that can last a lifetime. Medical and psychological rehabilitative support is therefore essential to the empowerment, successful integration and recovery of torture survivors. This may include emergency medical treatment for life-threatening conditions, long-term treatment for a range of illnesses as well as specialised physiotherapy and psychological care.
Medical and psychological assessment also plays an important role in the documentation of torture and ill-treatment.
For torture survivors in the United Kingdom, please see the Torture Survivor's Handbook, which provides links to available services in the United Kingdom.
There are a range of organisations operating both internationally and locally, that provide access to some of these services. In particular:
- The International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) is an international, independent health professional organisation which promotes and supports the rehabilitation of torture victims and works for the prevention of torture worldwide. It collaborates with rehabilitation centres and programmes around the world.
- The Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture is a United Kingdom based organisation that aims to provide a range of services to survivors of torture, including: medical, psychiatric and psychological consultation, assessment and treatment; rehabilitation, short and long-term, through social care, casework and counselling, psycho-therapy, physiotherapy, complementary therapies and group and family work. It also provides forensic medical reports to document allegations of torture and ill-treatment in support of claims for asylum.
- Physicians for Human Rights has an International Forensics Program that mobilises the skills of medical and scientific professionals in dozens of countries to respond to victims of human rights violations, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. PHR works with experts to recover the dead, determine cause and manner of death, identify remains, and to provide evidence to a wide range of legal and judicial institutions.
- The International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies is an international organisation dedicated to trauma treatment, education, research and prevention. It has links to a range of traumatic stress resources.
- Health and Human Rights Info (HHRI) is a database that gives you free access to information, both in English and Spanish, about the effects of human rights violations on mental health in the contexts of disaster, conflict and war.