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Providing Psychological Support to Persons Under International Protection

Geographic Area






Type of Information

Project or programme


Society for Psychological Assistance

Contact Person

Martina ńĆarija (Login to send email)

Contact Person Function

Counselling Centre Manager

Project Start


Ongoing Project


Project End



Organisation logo

This project worked to reduce the social exclusion of recipients of international protection in Croatia, through counselling and interpreting. Services were available in Arabic, French, Russian and Turkish.

Issue/Challenge and Goal/Assumption

The project aimed to support individuals to cope with and reduce the consequences of highly stressful and traumatic experiences. It was expected that this would in turn lead to an alleviation of psychological health difficulties, a decrease in social exclusion as integration was facilitated, and higher chances of entering the job market as day-to-day administration and skills-building became easier.

Key project aims were:

  • to provide training to professional counsellors and interpreters on tailoring their services to the specific needs of asylum seekers and refugees;
  • to establish sustainable psychological support services;
  • to reduce psychological health problems in refugees and asylum seekers;
  • in the longer term, to have empowered participants to better cope with the stressful integration process in Croatia and with their own individual trauma and stresses.

How does it work

Professional training was given to therapists and counsellors, who then provided psycho-social counselling and psychotherapy to individuals in difficulty in local migrant communities. Services were provided free of charge in order to ensure equality of access to all.


The individuals who participated in the project saw the following results:

  • Heightened capacity to tackle personal trauma;
  • Successful resolution of personal psychological challenges;
  • A better quality of life;
  • Decreased risk of developing mental health problems;
  • Improved relationships with people in their communities;
  • Increased integration in Croatian society.


The project was evaluated through client feedback around achievement of personal goals, and through counsellor feedback around the individual counselling process.

Who will benefit?

Refugees under international protection living in Croatia.

Source of funding and Resources used