PARIS — “Wars may come to an end, but traumas last for a long time thereafter. All wars present the same forms of horror, and they leave survivors with weighty handicaps, both visible and invisible.” These are the words of Eugénie Alecian, a leading French-Armenian musician and composer. And the most seriously affected, she adds, are children and their families. It is this awareness that has motivated Alecian to lend her support to the efforts of Santé Arménie (Health Armenia), a non-profit association of doctors and psychologists who are offering psychiatric and child-psychiatric care, not only as immediate relief, but as long-term support for children and their families in Armenia and Artsakh.
To this end, as founder and president of Action Musicale Internationale, Alecian decided to organize a charity gala event in Paris to raise funds for Santé Arménie on September 16, at Espace Carpeaux, in the Courbevoie commune.
Santé Arménie came into being on the initiative of Prof. Arsène Mekinian (Internal Medicine Department, Hôpital Saint-Antoine, Paris) in partnership with AGBU France, following the September 2020 war on Artsakh. Volunteer healthcare professionals from France, Belgium and Switzerland intervened immediately with medical assistance for the victims, and followed up with working groups (now numbering 22) to help develop the healthcare system in Armenia and Artsakh for the longer term. Their four priority areas are care and infrastructure reinforcement, training and transfer of expertise, research and development, and partnership with Armenian institutions.
Devoting particular attention to the needs of the traumatized, Santé Arménie, which cooperates with other French medical missions in Armenia and Artsakh, has proposed projects reinforcing the treatment of psycho-trauma. These include the creation of a chair in child psychiatry — the first in Armenia — which is an inter-university project between Yerevan State University and Université Paris Est Créteil; and, partnership with Arevamanuk Psycho-Social Support Foundation, to strengthen psychotherapy support, with remuneration of 14 psychologists in Yerevan, Dilijan, and Gyumri to provide psycho-trauma care for military personnel, their families and, more generally, the entire Armenian civilian population. In addition, projects offer psychological and psychiatric care in the Syunik region, including support group therapy for teenagers; and, mobile units in Artsakh in partnership with the Empathia Consultation Center. Directing these ambitious initiatives are the leaders of the psycho-trauma team, Dr. Irene Nigolian, Dr. Anahit Dasseux-Ter Mesropian, Dr. Sevan Minassian and Dr. Patrick Alecian.
Dr. Patrick Alecian is musician Eugenie’s brother. He has worked in child protection since 1982, and is specialized in trauma and post-traumatic changes in children and adolescents. Currently he is training a medical and psychological corps in Armenia to deal with the devastating effects of almost 40 years of conflict.