BIH - CRO - Coss Border Project: STOP PTSP - I feel better!

The project "STOP PTSD - I Feel Good" is a pilot project implemented in the cross-border area of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Its aim is to gradually introduce digital technologies and tools into the treatment process of veterans suffering from PTSD.

The project aims to contribute to the deinstitutionalization of social services and develop a more effective, accessible, faster, and appropriate way of addressing the psychological difficulties faced by war veterans suffering from PTSD and their families involved in the recovery process.

The pilot project is based on the identified need to address the needs of veterans suffering from PTSD in the cross-border area of Šibenik-Knin County in Croatia and the West Herzegovina Canton in Bosnia and Herzegovina. These regions were both affected by the events of the 1990s during the Homeland War. There are currently about 30 veterans' associations and 4 associations for veterans suffering from PTSD operating in this cross-border area.

Šibenik-Knin County alone has about 15,000 Croatian war veterans, of whom 3,000 have disabilities and 400 are suffering and/or being treated for PTSD. In the West Herzegovina Canton, there are 2 associations for veterans suffering from PTSD, representing around 300 veterans.

The idea for the project development came from the collaboration between the Croatian NGO Emedea and the British organization which specializes in trauma treatment for adults, children, and youth using AI-based online treatment programs. The project implementation and partnership also involved the Association of Volunteers and Veterans of the Croatian War for Independence of Šibenik-Knin County in Croatia and the Association of Veterans and Disabled War Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Posušje in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the British company Sarafu Technology Solutions Ltd, specialized in AI-based technical solutions for healthcare and social care.

The total budget for the project wes 120,000 HRK, fully funded by the Republic of Croatia's Program for Cross-Border Cooperation with Bosnia and Herzegovina to support local community development.

The main goal and outcome of this pilot project is the development of the first phase of a diagnostic tool - an online chatbot for the preliminary assessment of the psychological state of veterans suffering from PTSD.

The following activities have been arried out for this purpose:

  • Psychologists from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the United Kingdom have been engaged in the data collection process from veterans for the chatbot development.
  • Psychological questionnaires based on relevant standards have been created to collect data on PTSD.
  • Veterans suffering from PTSD from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina have been engaged to fill out the questionnaires with the support of psychologists.
  • Experts from  Sarafu Technology Solutions Ltd have analyzed all the collected data for the chatbot development. 

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