Aid workers at increased risk from trauma

Aid workers are increasingly at risk from stress and trauma-related mental health conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, as aid agency work becomes more difficult and dangerous, a psychiatrist has suggested.

Barbara Lopes-Cardozo, a psychiatrist with the international emergency and refugee health department at the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, is planning to track 300 aid workers to see how their work affects them psychologically.

She estimated some 10 per cent of aid workers were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, while 30 per cent show some symptoms, such as anxiety, flashbacks and trouble sleeping.

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