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Our Nepal Response
UK firefighters helping to re-open earthquake-hit hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal | photo credit: DFID - UK Dept. for International Development
by
Dr. Jim Guy
on
May 7, 2015
| Trauma & Critical Incidents | From the Office |

Like you, I am saddened by the images coming out of Nepal.  The loss of life, the destruction of homes and history, and the specter of suffering yet to come create an emergency that feels overwhelming.  It’s a reminder that there is no place immune to great disaster, even in this remote corner of the world.  Our hearts and prayers continue to be with Nepal earthquake victims and their loved ones throughout the region. 

Whenever there is a major humanitarian emergency like this anywhere in the world, we are immediately contacted by one or more NGOs to provide support for their teams before, during, and after deployment.  We respond quickly, to help when and where it’s needed most.  We also prepare for the wave of requests for psychological assistance that follow 6 to 12 months after a major disaster, when relief workers feel the full emotional impact of what they’ve recently experienced.

During the past couple of weeks, we have agreed to provide the following services:

  • Pre-deployment assessments and briefings, ongoing remote support, and post-deployment individual and in-person team debriefs for a large humanitarian aid rapid response teamThis multi-national “Special Forces” team arrived in Nepal within 36 hours and will remain there for up to three months.  They will create the operational plan used by a large relief organization for the next 1-2 years.
  • Personal debrief and counseling support for relief workers evacuated immediately after the earthquake.
  • Management consultations and ongoing psychological support for staff from several large humanitarian aid organizations already working in Nepal and for those soon to arrive.

Months from now, we’ll assist Nepal relief workers by providing the following:

  • Individual and group psychological debriefs and counseling to promote trauma recovery
  • Resilience training workshops, assessments, and coaching to promote personal resilience and wellbeing
  • Online resources, available free in 8 languages, to support workers’ return to pre-disaster health and functioning

In addition to supporting humanitarian aid organizations, we offer similar services to local emergency responders deployed to join in the relief effort.  Los Angeles based fire, police, and search-and-rescue teams are working in Nepal, alongside relief workers from development organizations like World Vision, Care, and Red Cross.  There is less distinction between these groups, now that the world is more closely linked by technology and transportation.  A disaster like the Nepal earthquake requires an “all hands on deck” response, and people come from everywhere to help.  Our partnership with both international humanitarian aid organizations and local government emergency responder teams allows us to provide ongoing psychological support to a growing array of disaster workers. 

Tragedy brings us together with sisters and brothers from all over the world.  The staff of the Headington Institute is actively participating in the massive relief effort to help victims of the Nepal earthquake.

 

If you are interested in supporting our Nepal Response, please click here.

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