October 31, 2017
“My name is Fedon Chatzis and I am a psychologist-psychotherapist. Since 2007 I work as a psychotherapist for children and adolescents facing psycho social difficulties and mental disorders. In 2009 I joined Merimna, a non-profit organization with the primary purpose of caring for children and families facing a serious illness, a loss or death.
The overall goal of Merimna Organization is to provide services to bereaved families and educators with the purpose to prevent long term grief complications and adjustment problems among traumatically bereaved children and their parents. More specifically, the main objectives are the following: to provide consultation and training to educators who encounter traumatically bereaved students, and to offer psychological services to traumatically bereaved children and their parents.
As a psychologist in Merimna and as a member of a team composed by 6 psychologists-psychotherapists, we had the pleasure to collaborate with THI. The Hellenic Initiative strongly supported our goals and provided further opportunities to expand our interventions.
With the support of THI within the short period of one year we managed to provide psychological support to 20 families that experienced a traumatic loss (5 suicides, 1 homicide, 14 sudden deaths). The therapeutic intervention in these families was through individual sessions and group therapy sessions for children and parents that took place in Merimna’s counseling center.
Also, we provided training on 47 educators on school crisis intervention, that helped them increase their knowledge and skills on how to effectively support bereaved children and families.
Furthermore, we provided support to 3 different schools that encountered a crisis of loss and trauma situation. These schools firstly received supervision on how to manage traumatically bereaved children and parents through Merimna’s Helpline. Then, psychologist from Merimna’s counseling center provided additional support through direct intervention on the school premises. Head teachers, educators and parents received support and consultation in order to manage severe school crisis that involved loss.
THI agreed to continue supporting our work until May of 2018. It is truly an enormous financial support for our organization to further expand our humanistic goals.”