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Frequently Asked Questions

We know that staff in high-stress situations need high-quality support. Our staff partners with organizations to create high-impact solutions for effective staff care.


To learn more about the Headington Institute read our case statement here.

The Headington Institute is one of the only organizations providing international humanitarian and urban emergency response personnel with the psychological and spiritual support needed to help them cope with the devastation they witness. Each year the Headington Institute provides thousands of hours of training, counseling, and organizational consulting to support the wellbeing of first responders serving on the frontlines of local and global crises. By combining challenging international field work with cutting-edge research, in partnership with other leading researchers across the country, we are able to offer the finest services available.

Each year we train and consult with thousands of personnel working in a wide range of urban and humanitarian settings. We consult with senior management, city agencies, international disaster response personnel, law enforcement personnel and others. Our clients include:

  • Large and small international humanitarian organizations
  • UN partners and local national NGOs
  • Refugee resettlement agencies
  • Trauma Centers
  • Mayor’s offices and city agencies involved in emergency planning
  • Domestic first responders, including: law enforcement, anti-terrorism units, community mental health and crisis response teams
  • Urban Rescue Missions and homeless shelters

Every year, the world grows more dangerous for emergency responders worldwide. This is true for humanitarians operating in places like Syria or Iraq, but equally true for domestic first responders responding to severe storms or mass casualties in the U.S. Across sectors, 2013 was the deadliest year on record for fire-fighters, law enforcement personnel and humanitarian staff. Kidnapping, alone, has more than tripled in recent years. These increasingly unstable environments are accompanied by levels of humanitarian need that have surpassed all prior years on record.  Because of the high interest in our innovative training services, the lack of resources in many global regions, and the growing pressure organizations feel to prepare staff psychologically for imminent threats, we are looking for ways to grow and expand our capacity to meet the increasing demand.

Our clients look to us to support their resilience before, during and after challenges. Here are a few of the ways we assist our clients with psychological and spiritual support needs.

  • We help humanitarian staff prepare for deployment, support them during their assignments, and assist their re‐entry upon return home.
  • We train domestic emergency responders, addressing personal, family and team resilience programs designed to offset the negative stress exposure that can lead to stress-impairment, burnout, and illness over time. We also work to address psychological aspects of security and self-management under duress and threat, equipping staff to manage their reactions in unstable environments.
  • We tailor staff care programs to fit the needs of agencies of all sizes, equipping senior management to effectively address duty of care and organizational needs.
  • We provide in-person team debriefs for teams recovering from incidents of violence and loss.
  • We support aid workers and families who experience traumatic loss, threat or long periods of separation.
  • We support aid workers who encounter sexual violence and harassment in the course of their work.
  • We coach managers on how to change the culture of teams and effectively support staff in distress.

Introduce us to others: Introduce the Headington Institute to your circle of family, friends, and acquaintances. Invite them to consider becoming a donor, client, or advocate for the needs of humanitarian aid workers.

Share your expertise: Every year we accomplish more than we could have imagined with the generous help of professionals who volunteer their services and expertise. Business consulting, graphic design support, media assistance, marketing advice, and translation support – these are just a few of the ways in-kind donors have impacted our mission. Consider donating your professional skills and talents to support our mission. Please contact us for more information.

Give financially: The Headington Institute values our partnership with donors and we keep them regularly informed on decisions, opportunities and challenges through a variety of opportunities.

  •  The President’s circle receives regular updates and eye witness trip reports.
  • We communicate regularly through newsletters, reports, articles and social media.
  • We regularly invite local donors to participate in meaningful speaker opportunities and team discussions.
  • We provide donor appreciation events to allow donors to meet staff and ask questions.
  • On request, we visit churches and community organizations to share about our work.

The Headington Institute is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. On the average, about 60% of our funding comes from donations and 40% from fees for service.