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PAST PROJECTS AND ACTIVITIES

TEN YEARS LATER: WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?
THE PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT OF 9/11
UNITED STATES
Ten years ago, the world witnessed the largest set of synchronized terrorist attacks ever to take place on U.S. soil. For most, the attacks of September 11, 2001 played out in real time on our television sets. For residents of New York City, Washington, DC and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, it played out in their own backyards. The political and social impact of the attacks has been debated vigorously in the 10 years since. It is now time to step back to examine the short- and longer term psychological impact of the attacks.
  • What has been the impact of the attacks on the national psyche?
  • What have we learned about those who might be at risk for deleterious mental health effects should there be another large scale terrorist attack?
  • What have we learned about treatment of disaster survivors?
  • What have been the mental health consequences for those who experienced the attacks directly or lost a loved one on 9/11?
Psychology Beyond Borders, together with Columbia University – Department of Psychiatry and the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, University of California, Irvine’s School of Social Ecology, and the National Center for PTSD, hosted a lecture and webinar on September 7th, 2011 to address these and other questions. PBB Board Members, Prof. Roxane Cohen Silver, Dr. Yuval Neria and Dr. Patricia Watson, presented their research findings to participants. The event was well attended both online and in person at the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI). The even was moderated by Bruce Shapiro from the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma.
Click here to learn more about the Webinar and Lecture.

UNITED AUTO WORKERS (UAW) TRAINING

UNITED STATES
In March of 2009 PBB conducted a Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS) workshop for the UAW-GM Center for Human Resources (DHR) Work/Family Department whose leadership detected high rates of distress not only in their workforce, but also in the Family Assistance Representatives (FAR) who serve employees and their families in need. The goal of the training was to provide education in the concepts of STS, Compassion Fatigue, Burnout and Self Care for the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). PBB addressed a group of 1,000 helpers as they launched a week-long stress management and educational leadership conference. The workshop provided training in Self Assessment, Stress Management Activities and strategies in mitigating STS for the EAP Work Family representatives and those they serve.

TEXAS PEOPLE RECOVERING IN SPITE OF DEVASTATING EVENTS (P.R.I.D.E.) TRAINING
UNITED STATES
PBB was commissioned by Texas People Recovering In Spite of Devastating Events (P.R.I.D.E.) to provide a training to 150 crisis counsellors working with people recovering from Hurricane Ike. As a part of that training, PBB ran a qualitative review of crisis counsellor’s experiences working with P.R.I.D.E. and reported back on how the process can be improved. The Mayor of Galveston, and other community leaders as well as representatives of the U.S. Dept. of Public Health, FEMA, SAMHSA and DTAC praised the work of Texas P.R.I.D.E. PBB was given an appreciation award for our continuing assistance through consultation and training.

LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK TRAINING
UNITED STATES
In April of 2007 PBB conducted a Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS) workshop at the Louisiana State University School of Social Work in Baton Rouge. This workshop was designed to give Social Work students information about STS and how they might cope with this problem. LSU was chosen for this workshop because of the high numbers of social work students either affected by the Gulf Coast hurricanes of 2005 or working with those who were. The workshop had two primary goals: first, to offer information about secondary traumatic stress and how to avoid it to a population likely to experience it, and second to conduct research in traumatic stress in the social work population. The workshop included several components: education on the potential for helping professionals to develop secondary traumatic stress, familiarization with self-assessment tools to help workers track stress, a narrative element of writing about experiences during the hurricanes and group discussion these experiences, and an introduction to two separate relaxation techniques designed to reduce stress: self-hypnosis and yoga. Ninety-five graduating students in the MSW program at LSU participated in this workshop.

IMMEDIATE POST-DISASTER INTERVENTION STUDY
UNITED STATES 
Elderly people, particularly institutionalized elderly, are at particular risk of negative reseponse to traumatic events. PBB supported Dr. Lisa Brown, a researcher at the University of South Florida, to develop a Just-in-Time training program focused on teaching Psychological First Aid to support staff at nursing homes. The goal was to develop a research study focused on testing the effectiveness of an intervention delivered in the immediate aftermath (less than two weeks) of a natural disaster and to train nursing staff on how to help residents recover from traumas associated with natural disasters such as hurricanes.

PSYCHOLOGICAL FIRST AID (PFA) / TRAUMA TRAINING
ETHIOPIA 
Obstetric and traumatic fistula are medical conditions with major impact on the mental health and wellbeing of women who experience them. Working with healthcare providers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia PBB provided training in the fundamentals of psychosocial response to doctors and nurses who support the recovery of women dealing with fistula. In June 2008, 84 nursing staff, nursing aides and university staff from Addis Ababa University, Ammanuel Psychiatric Hospital, Anbassa Hospital and the Hamlin Fistula Hospital attended the training.

TSUNAMI RESPONSE
SRI LANKA

In response to the evident psychosocial needs following the devastation of the Asian tsunami (December, 2005) and the lack of existing mental health infrastructure to address the issues, PBB under the leadership of Dr. Pamela Ryan and Dr. Rony Berger sent a delegation of mental health professionals to Sri Lanka to assist with the crisis that has displaced around 5% of the country’s population. Thirty-two mental health workers, teachers, and volunteers were trained in ERASE-Stress. In addition to the training of the ERASE-Stress Program the team also provided some psychological assistance to both the staff and clients of two NGO’s established as a result of the tsunami. The focus of assisting the two NGO’s was to address the need that the carers themselves need to be looked after. Doctors, nurses and volunteers from IMPAKTaid, along with psychiatrists, psychologists, teachers and caretakers from Adopt Sri Lanka, were provided with an opportunity to share their own experiences of the tsunami. PBB was able to effectively highlight the important message to the NGO’s of both ‘giving’ and ‘receiving’ in the work that each of them do.