A multidisciplinary care centre

The Primo Levi Centre welcomes people who have suffered torture or political violence in their country of origin, and who have been exiled to France, regardless of their administrative status. The care offered, which lasts an average of three years, is multidisciplinary, respecting the patient’s wishes and the pace and limits of their integration in France. Medical and physiotherapeutic care, psychotherapeutic work, social support and legal assistance are interlinked and function as a dynamic space. The aim is to provide a physical and psychological container for victims of torture and political violence. The intake interview is designed to be an integral part of the care provided.

Patients mainly receive medical care (78% of patients) and/or psychological support (70%). More than half of patients (56%) contact the social services department and 40% the legal department. Around 4% of patients receive physiotherapy. 70% of follow-up services are “multiple”, involving between 2 and 4 professionals working on the same case.

Using interpreters

Respecting other people’s languages also means welcoming them and their suffering. As far as possible, consultations are therefore held in the patient’s original language. Some foreign languages are mastered by the centre’s psychotherapists. In other cases, professional interpreters are used. In the same vein, the centre strives to ensure that a single professional interpreter is available for all patients, and to provide a different interpreter for each family member in the case of individual treatment.

The children and teenagers area

In 1999, a special organisation was set up for unaccompanied children and minors. Priority is given to them during the admission process. They are offered a specific consultation request form. Unaccompanied minors are seen directly by a psychologist without an interview with the reception manager. This specific care, which most often responds to situations that are particularly painful for the young people concerned, is provided in close collaboration with external institutions: child welfare, schools, reception centres for asylum seekers and the Centre médico-psycho-pédagogique (CMPP), with which the Primo Levi Centre is well identified.