For Who?

A humanitarian organization working with refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afganistan among others.

Introduction to you

Before this project was developed, I happened to meet several staff members of the agency. Their distress was visable. I recommended that the agency consider the type of support it could offer to its staff.

Their need and your eval

A staff member was considering quiting due to burn out. Other staff was experiencing similar distress. Recognizing the needs of the staff, agency managers and I talked about the what may be impacting staff experience. Managers felt that they would benefit from a better understanding of the psychological distress that refugees face. I recommended that it may be helpful to also understand the impact that working with people who have expereinced trauma can have on staff.

Work performed

The Danish Refugee Council and I also looked at how to ensure ongoing support, after the training. In partnership with the agency, learning objectives were defined and an initial 6 hour training on the impact of trauma on men, women and then on humanitarian workers. Skills introduced included: communication skills, empathy, building boundaries, de-escalation and identifying personal triggers. Along with the training the following services were provided for the next 3 months: Case consultation, group sessions and individual sessions followed by a follow up training.


The initial objectives of the project were met and the need for ongoing support was identified. This project was extended for 6 additional months with an additional goal of building internal capacity through the creation of a new position who will continue to focus on the self-care needs of the agency’s staff.


“When I first went to your training I didn’t think that what you were teaching us would help. But now I find I reflect on it multiple times a day, and it really helps. For example I was able to help an 8 year old girl to calm down when she was panicing using the breathing techniques you taught us.” -Training Participant

Work Examples

DRC Consulting Service

KLG (HEART) provided training on:

– The impact of trauma on adult refugees
– The impact of trauma on child refugees
– The impact of refugee trauma on humanitarian workers.

UNHCR Unaccompanied Children’s Program

KLG provided a literature review along with a set of evaluation tools to be used in interviews various stakeholders including the children themselves and their caregivers

The Bhutanese Community of Cincinnati

KLG Consulting Services provided their staff and community with training and ongoing support to enhance their understanding of mental health and the health care system in the U.S.