Humanitarians are at the heart of aid work. Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) is often discussed as a need for the vulnerable populations served by Humanitarians, but less attention is paid to the impact this work has on humanitarian worker. Although staff self-care does not often get the attention it deserves, when reports or articles are published, they often point to the negative impact that a lack of emotional well-being strategies has on workers.
Kristen Guskovict & Miriam Potocky, Intervention 2018“Motivational interviewing (MI) is presented as a mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) approach for increasing empathy among psychosocial support staff working with refugees in resettlement. Method: In a pilot study, 34 case managers in US refugee resettlement non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were trained in MI in a 3-h webinar format using a randomized controlled trial with a wait-list condition. Outcome was measured using the Helpful Responses to Refugees Questionnaire, which assesses empathetic responses to common refugee scenarios. Results: Training group participants’ responses significantly improved from before to after training compared to the wait-list group which received no training; these results were subsequently replicated in the wait-list group after those participants received training. Pre–post effect sizes were medium to large. Participants reported that the training was useful and relevant, and that they applied the skills in their practice. Barriers and facilitators to use were reported. Conclusion: This pilot study had several limitations, including that the implementation of empathetic responses, their impact on the quality of the case manager–refugee relationship, and the ultimate impact on refugee outcomes could not be assessed. Implications for practice, NGO policy, future research and global MHPSS refugee programs are discussed”
Dunkley, F. Routledge; 1 edition (2018)“Humanitarian Agencies have a Duty of Care, that includes responding to the psychological needs of their staff. This book reviews the physiological signs of trauma and offers a toolkit to support and foster resilience, along with a ‘complete trauma grab bag'”
Kristen Guskovict & Miriam Potocky, 2018 Advances in Social Work“This article reviews current literature regarding the impact of avoidable stress and the impact of adaptation programs such as staff care and stress management plans on humanitarian work, and illustrates these impacts with a case example from the Danish Refugee Council, an international non-governmental organization with approximately 300 employees working in Greece”
Alessandra Pigni, 2016 Parallax Press“Heal from over-exhaustion, prevent burnout, and regain your motivation with these short readings from a psychologist who has spent many years in the field working in conflict and disaster areas”
Bonnan-White and Issa 2016‘This study examines self-reported views by humanitarian workers working in Palestine concerning three concepts: resilience, generalized self-efficacy, and importance of workplace empowerment’
Quevillon, R. P., Gray, B. L., Erickson, S. E., Gonzalez, E. D. and Jacobs, G. A. 2016; Journal of Clinical Psychology, 72 (12)“Self-care strategies and system supports employed in preparation for, during, and after disaster relief operations (DROs) are crucial to relief worker well-being and the overall effectiveness of relief efforts.”
UNHCR, 2015“Survey finds that Humanitarian Workers are exposed to mental health risks due to the nature of their work”
Geoffrion, Morselli, Guay 2015; Trauma, Violence, & Abuse
Vol 17, Issue 3, pp. 270 – 283
World Health Organization, 2007“The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) issues these Guidelines to enable humanitarian actors to plan, establish and coordinate a set of minimum multi-sectoral responses to protect and improve people’s mental health and psychosocial well-being in the midst of an emergency.”
Anteras Foundation, 2005“Managing stress in staff of humanitarian aid organizations is an essential ingredient in enabling the organization to fulfil its field objectives, as well as necessary to protect the well being of the individual staff members themselves.”
World Health Organization, 2007The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) issues these Guidelines to enable humanitarian actors to plan, establish and coordinate a set of minimum multi-sectoral responses to protect and improve people’s mental health and psychosocial well-being in the midst of an emergency.
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
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
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.