Above: Oonagh practices TTT on a patient; TTT demonstration sheets for patients.
Refugees struggling with their mental wellbeing are referred to the TTT clinic after a consultation with the Kitrinos medical team.
Many of those who attended the clinic were sad and overwhelmed, some due to very distressing panic attacks - were unable to walk or talk, struggling to breathe, and lashing out. As well as offering ‘tapping’, I incorporated hand and shoulder massages, and breathing and relaxation exercises.
What I witnessed was truly amazing: I think almost everyone I had the privilege of working with benefited from the ‘Stress & Trauma Therapy’ techniques we offered. With some time and patience, following our sessions, people were visibly calmer, and managed to regain functionality and walk out of the clinic. Additionally, in most cases we recorded an improvement in mood and lowering of heart rate. Those who didn’t initially respond to the treatment returned, often with positive results the second or third time around.
I remember meeting one lovely young woman who was deeply traumatised and due to frequent panic attacks, was unable to leave her tent. She managed to come to the TTT clinic, and from then on attended many sessions. I remember seeing her out walking one day with her family - something she really struggled to do before - and she gave me a huge smile and a beautiful embrace.
I have enormous admiration for all the people I was lucky enough to meet, and I feel humbled to be a part of the TTT team. In the camp setting, where psychological support is almost non-existent, this small but effective intervention is a wonderful way to connect with people regardless of age, gender, nationality etc, and I feel it is an invaluable source of support to the Moria population.
- Oonagh O’Keefe, Volunteer TTT Practitioner for Kitrinos Healthcare, 2019.