Troubles trauma victims up by third

The number of people being treated for trauma from the Northern Ireland conflict increased by a third in the last year, it was revealed on Tuesday.

Omagh, Northern IrelandPeople are still coming forward 16 years after the first republican and loyalist ceasefires, Wave Trauma Centre said.

Sandra Peake, chief executive of Wave, said: “For many of those affected by the Troubles, the past is not in the past, it forms the present and it needs to be addressed in order that individuals can progress to the future.”

Actor James Nesbitt is attending an event at Queen’s University on Tuesday to launch a new teaching programme on trauma supported by the EU’s Peace 3 Programme.

For the first time social work students will be trained by members of Wave with direct personal experience of the Troubles.

Mr Nesbitt said: “Events like this are vital in showcasing how expertly-led programmes, held in the true spirit of partnership, are vital in forming a better society for all in Northern Ireland.

“Their collaboration in the field of trauma studies has a real, tangible impact on the lives of those who they care (for) and support on a daily basis. It is vital that the forthcoming Executive recognise this and enable this unique, vital and valuable work to continue.”

Marianne Moutray, director of education in nursing and midwifery at Queen’s, said the need to deal with the past was becoming increasingly important.

“I am proud that Wave, Gaslight Productions, and Queen’s through its school of nursing and midwifery and school of sociology, social policy and social work are making a real difference in assisting and enabling our local communities to resolve at least some of the pain of the past,” she added.