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RAN HEALTH is the working group for the sharing of information within the health sector.

Key challenge

Healthcare professionals meet and treat people who are vulnerable to radicalisation leading to violence. The key challenge for the healthcare sector is to interpret signs of radicalisation, be aware of the available support and be confident in referring the person for further support. In that way, the healthcare sector can play an important and effective role in raising awareness of those individuals who might be at risk of being radicalised.


The objectives of RAN HEALTH are to:

  • Raise awareness of the health sector on violent radicalisation;
  • Provide a network of networks for the sharing of experiences and learning between health practitioners as well as policy planners;
  • Empower healthcare workers across EU to support vulnerable individuals at risk of exploitation by radicalisers.

RAN HEALTH is organising itself as a peer network of professionals to facilitate the provision of support and learning across all parts of the network. The ambition is to ensure that every Member State has active participation.


The tasks of the RAN HEALTH working group are to:

  • Establish an effective network of health practitioners;
  • Develop and support an international collaborative network amongst clinicians;
  • Focus initially on mental health, with other specialities following as the programme develops;
  • Increase awareness among members to understand their own State’s position on Counter-terrorism policy and protection of vulnerable people;
  • Promote partnership working (multi-agency) within Member States;
  • Establish partner networks in Member States;
  • Ministerial buy-in: engage policy planners and advisors from the health departments in order to provide a foundation for the work to be delivered;
  • Develop awareness raising products – including guidance and toolkits, training, delivery and reporting structures, DVD products, resourced training programme and quality assurance;
  • Develop and produce pilots and evaluation methodologies
  • Sharing of learning and products;
  • Ensure tailored filming and scripting for individual Member States.

Working Group updates

  • RAN Health focused on mental health and psychological state of radicalised people

    After three regional meetings, the RAN Health working group organised a plenary meeting on 19 and 20 February 2015 to update the working group on the previous meetings, developments in the Member States and comment on the policy recommendations and deliverables. In this meeting the working group focussed on the mental health of radicalised people. Four researchers presented their vision on radicalisation, and the psychological state of radicalised people. Furthermore, the working group will produce a paper to illustrate the main needs for practitioners to further integrate, and provide an active role for the health sector in preventing radicalisation.


  • Successful RAN HEALTH tour through three EU regions
    In order to provide more local support to Member States and increase the ability to network more closely with other participants in the RAN Health meetings, the working group organised three regional meetings. On 21 October a regional meeting for the Baltic, Nordic and Western European countries was organised. Practitioners from Ireland, United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, the Netherlands and Lithuania attended the meeting. On 22 October a meeting for Central-Eastern European countries was held in Vienna. Participating Member States were Hungary, Czech Republic, and Slovenia. On 23 October a meeting for Southern European countries took place in Lisbon. Representatives from France, Portugal, and Spain were present. The meetings intended and succeeded to discuss and collect the situation, actions and needs of practitioners in the different regions. The needs of Health practitioners vary from an instrument for risk assessments targeting radicalisation, to more knowledge exchange among each other, e.g. on sharing concerns in a multi-agency structure. It was also indicated that the awareness regarding the role of the health sector concerning radicalisation and foreign fighters has increased over the years. The health sector is increasingly involved by other sectors and organisations dealing with radicalisation, e.g. by the police.

Older updates

  • Following the three RAN Health sub-group meetings held over the Summer and Autumn of 2013, the RAN Health Working Group organised its next meeting on 20-21 February 2014 in Budapest. The three subjects from the sub-group meetings were discussed; 1) information sharing and confidentiality, 2) policies and procedures for the health services, 3) products and awareness raising. Furthermore this meeting addressed the situation and progress made by different Member States. The RAN Health working group will organise 4 regional meetings, to focus on and support the regional situation and progress.
  • A third thematic meeting of RAN HEALTH took place on 22 November 2013 in Amsterdam on the subject of ‘Escalation structure and awareness’. In different break out sessions the working group discussed the basic requirements, the development of methodologies, structures and products for awareness raising to first line practitioners. Furthermore the group explored how RAN Health can support Member States who are commencing pilots of awareness raising in the Health sector.
  • RAN HEALTH held a second thematic meeting on 27 September in Copenhagen on the subject of ‘Policy and procedures’. During this subgroup meeting the participants discussed the existing policies and procedures in the MS and which guidance is needed for the health practitioners. The meeting resulted in a conversation on what next steps could be in the MS and in what way RAN Health could support that. It turned out that the participants were expecting the most fro m sub-regional support on this.
  • On 28 June 2013 RAN HEALTH held the first of three smaller, thematic meetings. In Barcelona a group of some 10 participants discussed patient confidentiality and the related possibilities and challenges in the Member States. Two researchers from the University of Galway (IE) joined this meeting and will support the Working Group.
  • On 18-19 April 2013, RAN HEALTH held a meeting in Berlin with 28 participants from 13 Member States. High priority topics, such as foreign fighters going to and returning from Syria with traumas and the process of describing and sharing information, were on the agenda. Adding to Dutch and British practices presented in previous meetings, Danish practitioners presented the successful cooperation between psychiatry, social service and police, and stressed the importance of a high level of societal trust in state institutions as an indispensable condition. Although the role of (mental) health in helping vulnerable people at risk of radicalising was not self-evident in most Member States some time ago, a growing number of countries indicated that they are developing this role now.
  • On 8 March 2013, RAN HEALTH held a meeting in Amsterdam, specifically for practitioners from member states that could not attend previous meetings. Both the programme ‘Recognising behavioural risks of loners in Dutch mental health care’, as Health WRAP, the UK awareness raising programme, were presented. The escalation processes to share concerns on vulnerable individuals in the health sector was discussed too.
  • RAN HEALTH had its second meeting on 6-7 December 2013 in Vienna. Common factors and structural differences in caring for the vulnerable in different Member States were discussed. Attention was given to awareness raising methodology and partnership working.
  • RAN HEALTH had its first meeting on 27-28 September 2013 in Prague. Some 40 participants from two thirds of the Member States attended. In most Member States the involvement of the health sector in radicalisation awareness is not self -evident. Why and how health is involved, was therefore a key issue in Prague. There was a productive discussion on confidentiality and information sharing. The balance between confidentiality and information sharing requires that the health sector involvement is not framed as a search for potential terrorists, but as the safeguarding of vulnerable individuals. Awareness programmes from the UK and the Netherlands were presented.
  • RAN HEALTH policy recommendations [118 KB] for the High Level Conference on January 29th 2013


Working Group leaders:

  • Chris Charlton (United Kingdom)
  • Hamp Harmsen (The Netherlands)


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