Focuses On Virtual Support
There are hundreds of thousands of humanitarian workers worldwide. Most of them live and work in areas outside of the developed world. Few of them have access to counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists or other mental health professionals. Many of them, however, do have access to the internet.
One of the central tenets of the Institute’s mission is to provide support services to local national staff in countries where few resources exist. The internet is one important medium that is allowing us to make progress in this area — the web can reach places that we cannot.
The Headington Institute website has more than 1300 visitors a month, and this number is growing steadily. To provide easier access to information and resources, we have recently redesigned our website! Some of the important changes that you will notice include:
- The new Home Page allows you to navigate quickly and easily.
- The Services We Offer page provides more information regarding our training workshops and counseling services.
- In the Learning Center, an expanded Resources section provides workshop outlines, brochures on coping with stress, monthly tips on self-care, bibliographies, and a number of online handbooks on stress and crisis management.
- An Online Training section will provide interactive training modules for those who are interested in learning to better understand and cope with traumatic stress, but who have limited access to resources.
- Our Continuing Education section allows you to preview the Institute’s continuing education modules for mental health professionals and purchase them online.
- Articles Online showcases the latest research and news articles about stress and humanitarian work.
- A new section on Stories from the Frontlines hosts stories from humanitarian workers around the world, and provides a series of journaling questions.
- Our Appeals and Funding section allows you to support one of our projects, such as the Helping Kenya’s Helpers Project, adopt an aid worker, and donate online.
Visit www.headington-institute.org to check out the new site.
SO FAR THIS YEAR ...
The Headington Institute has:
- Provided hundreds of hours of orientation, counseling, and debriefing to humanitarian staff working in crisis situations.
- Consulted with numerous humanitarian organizations involved in tsunami-relief work.
- Facilitated a retreat in Indonesia for humanitarian workers involved in tsunami-relief work.
- Traveled to Geneva for fact-finding consultations with representatives of UNICEF and the Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response (SCHR).
- Facilitated a retreat for a number of domestic relief workers involved in the Florida clean-up.
- Conducted 6 training workshops on traumatic stress in the humanitarian field.
ALSO IN THE NEWS...
- We are growing! The Institute office space will double by the end of this month. Our mailing address will remain unchanged.
- The American Psychological Association recently approved the Headington Institute’s Continuing Education program for mental health professionals for a further 5 years.
- The Institute’s Director of Training and Education Services will be in Washington D.C. at the annual InterAction Forum in June, presenting on resources to help humanitarian organizations address staff well-being.
FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Years ago my conversations with leaders of humanitarian aid organizations focused on the need for psychological care for relief and development workers before, during, and after field deployments. There were many questions about “why” this was necessary and desirable. No longer. Most recognize the emotional challenges and traumatic stress confronting humanitarian personnel working in dangerous, difficult circumstances. Now inquiries center on “what” is helpful rather than “why” it’s needed. Administrators want to know how to adequately support their staff. Since there is no widely recognized “Code of Best Practices,” we’re forming a working group to identify “Minimum Operating Standards” for staff support. Membership will include humanitarian staff, clinicians, researchers, donor organizations, and industry oversight groups in the USA and Europe. By working together, we can determine which training, counseling, and consulting programs are most effective in helping humanitarian personnel thrive and continue in their important work. We’ll let you know the outcome of our efforts. Thanks for your support and encouragement!
HEADED TO GHANA
The Institute’s Administrative Assistant, Laura Depp, is headed to Ghana this summer. Laura holds a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and is currently working towards her professional licensure. As part of that process, Laura will be working for four weeks this summer with the Mobile Member Care Team in West Africa (MMTC-WA). The MMCT is a cooperative, inter-mission program that provides training, consultation, referral and direct crisis response for missionaries on the field in West Africa.
During her time in Ghana Laura will be providing counseling and assessments for expatriates and their children, working with Liberian refugees at the refugee camps in Ghana, and participating in the “Sharpening Your Interpersonal Skills” workshop in Accra in late June.
DR. LAURIE PEARLMAN TO HEAD
CLINICAL ASSOCIATES PROGRAM
We are delighted to announce that Dr. Laurie Pearlman has agreed to direct the Headington Institute’s Clinical Associates Program.
Dr Pearlman is a clinical psychologist and co-director of the Traumatic Stress Institute /Center for Adult & Adolescent Psychotherapy (TSI/CAAP). She is also the president of Trauma Research, Education and Training Institute, Inc. (TREATI), a nonprofit organization that supports mental health and other social service professionals in their work with trauma survivors.
Dr. Pearlman is a widely published author on the theory and treatment of vicarious trauma, and the impact of violence and abuse. An internationally recognized speaker, she has received many awards for her scientific and clinical contributions. Her work focuses on bringing contemporary knowledge about traumatic stress to traumatized populations.
During the last decade she has traveled to Rwanda several times to provide training on the origins of genocide, the psychological impact of trauma, avenues to healing, and the prevention of future violence. She will also be joining the Institute’s “Helping Kenya’s Helpers” team traveling to Nairobi in August 2005.
As Director of the Clinical Associates Program, Dr. Pearlman will form a team of mental health professionals with international and trauma treatment experience who will partner with the Institute by providing counseling to humanitarian workers worldwide.
SUPPORTING THE TSUNAMI
AIDWORKERS IN INDONESIA
The Headington staff have been busy working to support aid workers on the frontlines of the tsunami response effort in Indonesia.
In April, Dr. Jim Guy traveled to Bali to lead a three day retreat for a team of aid workers who have been involved in the tsunami response in Asia since late December 2004. In addition to providing individual counseling for team members, Dr Guy led a workshop on personal spirituality and humanitarian work and facilitated a team debrief.
In May, Lisa McKay traveled to Indonesia to meet with Church World Service staff in Jakarta, Medan, and Aceh who have been responding to the tsunamis and subsequent earthquakes. She also helped to facilitate a three day retreat for staff in Medan.
The Headington Institute ...
caring for caregivers worldwide
by providing training, counseling and consulting
The Headington Institute is a federally recognized nonprofit corporation with 501.C.3 status. All contributions are fully tax deductible. Please contact us for more information on how to become a partner in this important work.