CMAS Europe Message
In 2018, the board of CMAS Europe discussed the problems regarding the aftercare with respect to diving accidents. It was noted that in general sufficient attention to the actual victim was provided, but at the same time, other people involved with the accident, were
more or less ignored. As it is also known that serious mental problems can originate from traumatic events. It was well understood by the board that there should be more consideration should be given to this matter.
The Medical Committee of CMAS supported this thought. In the 2018 General Assembly of CMAS Europe, the project mental coaching after serious diving accidents was presented to its members. After further clarification and discussion, the plan was adopted by the assembly.
It was soon made clear that most of the federations did not have a program course of action, how to act in such situations. Only the Flemish federation of Belgium (NELOS) had long-term experience on this field. For that reason, we used their knowledge to make a program that could serve as an example for other federations. Of course, as each country has his own laws, rules, habits, professionals and cultural differences, the content of this work is likely to be adapted to its own needs. On the other hand, people are and act, in many ways the same so o a lot of the experiences from Flanders are expected to apply to all.
The first part consists of the more theoretical principles on which mental coaching is based. In the second part contains a model how to organize this kind op care-taking based on the experiences of the NELOS. Furthermore, members of the medical committee of CMAS argued the concepts and provided their remarks and suggestions.
Exactly after one year, on the General Assembly 2019 in Monaco, the board of CMAS Europe was able to present the results to the federations. Thanks to the vast experience and effort put forwards by the volunteers of the Belgian mental coaching team we can now make the results accessible for the international community. Two members of that team, Veerle Levecke and Elfrie van Poppelen, had the honour to present the result to the European assembly. In the General Assembly of CMAS world, the president Anna Arzhanova introduced the program, not only for Europe, but beneficial for all the federations of CMAS. Immediately following the presentation several countries expressed their intention to introduce the program in their own federation. They asked the board and the
authors to support them in doing so.
This is exactly what I ask you to do as well. Adopt this program and ask your medical commission to make it suitable for your own federation. Diving accidents are not our favourite conversation topic, but our divers should know that we take care for in case they happen. Especially our CMAS-federations, with its dedicated volunteers, have the opportunity to maintain such a system. I see this as a unique selling point for the non-commercial diving federations.
John Geurts, MD
Chairman Medical Committee CMAS
Vice-president CMAS Europe