People in Belfast are still suffering the trauma of the Troubles 14 years after the main paramilitary groups called their first ceasefires, it was revealed today.
The city suffered terribly, with 40% of the deaths caused by the violence in the North – and 75% of those in the north and the west of the city.
Almost half of the children killed in the Troubles were also residents of north or west Belfast.
The experiences and consequences of the Troubles was the subject of newly-published research carried out by the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust’s trauma resource centre.
It was carried out to help staff better understand both the history and the problems of people being referred to the centre with traumatic stress disorder and related difficulties.
Launching the report, Victims Commissioner Brendan Mcallister said: “Fourteen years after the big ceasefires, 12 years after the Good Friday Agreement, a trauma centre in north and west Belfast confirms a high level of trauma is still being suffered across the community.”
He added: “Visiting the trauma centre staff I was encouraged to hear them speak with conviction about the community development approach to their work.
“They also seek to enlist the resources of the local community as partners in the healing process of each individual client.”
Pat McCartan, chairman of the trust, added: “This piece of work will inform practitioners, managers and policy makers of the long term and lingering effects of the Troubles in Northern Ireland and influence service developments.”
The trauma centre uses a multi-disciplinary treatment approach allowing each individual client to receive an holistic range of therapies including counselling and complementary therapies.
The treatment has evolved through various research studies.