History of Impact

In the past decades, the Netherlands has suffered several major disasters, including the plane crash in the Bijlmermeer (1992), the fireworks explosion in Enschede (2000) and the café fire in Volendam (2001).

In the aftermath of the Bijlmer crash, the government and relief workers were confronted with the fact that disasters can have complex effects.

It became clear not only that an effective approach is necessary with regard to the immediate consequences of a disaster, but also that the psychological harm resulting from a disaster demands intensive, long-term attention. Other disasters have likewise shown that coordinated and substantial, long-term psychosocial relief efforts are critical. The Dutch Ministries of Health, Welfare and Sports, Defence and Interior and Kingdom Relations therefore decided to establish a "National Knowledge Centre for Post-Disaster Psychosocial Care". This Knowledge Centre officially began operating in September 2002 under the name Impact Foundation.

In June 2011 Impact became a partner in the Arq Psychotrauma Expert Group.

From August 2012 till January 2017 Impact was merged with Cogis, the Dutch expert centre on the (psycho)social effects of war, persecution, aggression and violence. January 2017 Cogis was renamed ARQ Center of Excellence on War, Persecution and Violence. Since January 2017 Impact has a strong cooperation with ARQ partner, ARQ IVP. Linking the practical experience of ARQ IVP with the knowlegde of Impact will strengthen both organisations.

In 2020 the name of Impact was changed to ARQ Centre of Expertise on Disasters and Crises as part of ARQ National Psychotrauma Center.