Welcome to the Crisis and Disaster Psychology Unit

The Crisis and Disaster Psychology Unit (CKK) is a specialist unit within the Stockholm County Council.

Our main role is to contribute to building the capacity of individuals and organisations within the community and health services on how best to respond to people who have been exposed to a disaster situation or serious accident.

Through the provision of education, training and research in crisis and disaster preparation, response and support measures, the Unit directs its focus to the psychological disaster preparedness within the health and community services, with the aim of minimising harmful psychological effects of a potentially traumatic event.

Our staff are specialist psychiatrists and psychologists with experience in trauma related clinical treatment, research, education, policy and service development, with both child and adult expertise. The Unit does not provide direct clinical services or therapy to trauma affected individuals.

On this website we provide information (in Swedish) about the Unit’s educational training programs, lectures and materials (many which can be ordered online) and about the Unit’s projects reports, research papers and media contributions.

For information in English, please don’t hesitate to contact our bi-lingual staff by email or telephone.

The Crisis and Disaster Psychology Unit – About us

The Crisis and Disaster Psychology Unit (CKK) was established in 1996. Funded by Stockholm County Council and affiliated with Karolinska Institute.

As a specialist unit, our mandate is to strengthen the capacity of Stockholm’s regional health and community services to effectively provide a psychosocial response to people affected by disasters, major accidents as well as everyday medical emergencies. We provide expert consultation and professional training to improve the psychological response to trauma of Stockholm County Council's emergency and disaster preparedness response personnel. Our knowledge is up to date and informed by research, participation in national and international conferences as well as applied experience in crisis response settings.

Our specialist education and training services are tailored to suit a wide range of government, academic and health services, and take the form of lectures, workshops and disaster simulation exercises, each designed and implemented according to the level of complexity required and always with a psychological focus. Furthermore, through the dissemination of information phamplets, scientific research articles and evaluation reports, knowledge about psychological responses to trauma including reactions, responses and recovery to potentially traumatic events - can be freely and easily accessed and these materials can be located on the website (the majority have an English summary available). Finally, the Unit also provides expert commentary to the media, and media excepts can be located on the website.

The Crisis and Disaster Psychology Unit also provides expert consultancy to a number of regional health services and government agencies on the psychological aspects of trauma and disaster response, and also provides an advisory role in policy and service development of Stockholm County's psychological disaster response. The Unit does not have the facility to provide direct clinical care or psychological services to individuals.
Our staff consists of specialised psychiatrists and psychologists experienced in working with trauma in various settings including adult psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, consultation/liasion psychiatry, organizational and community psychology.

History and current context

During the years 1984–1996, the Unit operated as a clinical facility at Huddinge Hospital, Stockholm. Treating patients who had experienced serious and potentially traumatic events including accidents, life threatening illnesses, violence and disasters, the needs for specialised relevant psychosocial knowledge and intervention methods became apparent. And so, with the aim of improving and further developing the overall capacity of Stockholm’s regional health services to respond appropriately to people exposed to potentially traumatic events, the organisation moved away from the provision of direct services to that of being a Specialist Unit.

As a specialist regional unit since 1996, the organization has continued to raise knowledge and awareness of psychological aspects of trauma in the healthcare setting within Stockholm, through active involvement with key international networks, training and research. Stockholm is home to 2 million people and consists of 26 Municipalities, 14 Districts, 7 Acute care hospitals and approximately 200 public and private healthcare centres. Stockholm County Council continues to demonstrate its growing support for the provision of post disaster mental health information and for this Unit’s activities through expanding the mandate beyond health services to also include community settings.

As Stockholm county is home to the country’s parliament, royal families, embassies and the most extensive transport communications system in the country, it has experienced in recent decades political assassinations, terrorist attacks and other violent incidents as well as sea and aircraft accidents. Furthermore, a significant number of Stockholm residents have, during travel abroad, returned after being exposed to war and natural disasters. Whilst Stockholm has a very well established post disaster response plan, the biggest challenge for individuals and the community after such an incident remains the provision of psychological services. It is the Unit’s long-term goal to see advancement in the establishment and in the quality of the psychological support available to individuals and communities in the Stockholm County region.

The Crisis and Disaster Psychology Unit: A Specialist Unit within Stockholm County Council.