Social Services

Join the Conversation

Tuesday, July 7th to Wednesday, September 30th

Please join us in an online, open forum on telehealth. NCB is providing an opportunity for clinicians to ask each other questions, share observations and adapted telehealth protocols for the SoT population via an online forum and technical exchange. This conversation will be a forum for peer-led informational exchange. NCB staff will assist in facilitating and monitoring the conversation.

Directions: Please watch Eugene Augusterfer’s presentation and interview Telemedicine in Mental Health first. Then feel free to join us in this open forum. All are welcome to join this forum, whether you have an account on Healtorture.org or not. For more information on using the forum, please read the directions on the first post. Please keep your comments respectful, relevant, factual, and do not share identifying information about clients per client privacy and HIPAA regulations. This forum will be open from July 6, 2020 through September 30, 2020.

"Collaboration, pilot program could expand the Center for Victims of Torture’s work in MN"

An article at the Minnesota House of Representatives’ Session Daily, “Collaboration, pilot program could expand the Center for Victims of Torture’s work in MN,” quotes CVT’s Peter Dross, director of external relations, and Alison Beckman, senior clinician for external relations, and describes

Improving Well-Being for Refugees in Primary Care: A Toolkit for Providers

CVT’s NEW Toolkit for Providers Working with Refugees

Meet Paw, a refugee from Burma seeking medical care in the U.S. for her headaches, nightmares and physical pain. She’s unfamiliar with the U.S. primary care system and she doesn’t speak English. Waiting alone at her first doctor appointment, Paw wonders, “How will the doctor understand me? What if I don’t like my interpreter? Will I ever be healthy again?” Paw’s questions don’t end there. They’re only a few of several listed in in CVT’s new manual, “Improving Well Being for Refugees in Primary Care: A Toolkit for Providers.”  Paw is a fictional character whose real-life experiences mirror those of clients in CVT’s Healing Hearts program.

Promoting Safety with our Clients e-consultation

This e-consultation follows the webinar on Promoting Safety with our Clients. See that webinar for many additional resources, learning objectives, etc.

Resources

The following resources pertain to topics that came up during the online consultation.

Northwest Refugee and Immigrant Health Coalition

Sanctuary cities

Mapping Immigrant Professional Integration

This interactive map showcases over 50 programs and services around the country that are designed to help immigrant and refugee professionals achieve success in the United States. These programs and services focus on career preparation, ESL for high-skilled immigrants, and licensing and credentialing guidance, and are hosted by service providers, advocacy and public education institutions, and technical assistance and resource providers.

Promoting Safety with our Clients

Service providers who work with survivors of torture and forced migration know that their clients face many challenges in navigating environments that feel unsafe and out of their control. Concerns about their safety and their family's safety may be associated with living in a high-crime neighborhood, where "there is nothing 'post' about PTSD"; with fearing the police or other people in uniforms due to their trauma triggers; or with concerns about what seems to be an increase in anti-immigration rhetoric and the larger and, for now unanswerable, concerns around immigration and deportation.

A Congolese-US participatory action research partnership to rebuild the lives of rape survivors and their families in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

Glass N(1), Ramazani P, Tosha M, Mpanano M, Cinyabuguma M. Glob Public Health. 2012;7(2):184-95. 

Link is to abstract; full article available for purchase.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) remains an all-too-potent reminder of how war, human rights violations and their related health and economic impacts can devastate a society. The last decade has seen the use of rape as a weapon of war in the DRC, where rebels and soldiers subject women and girls to brutalising attacks, rape, torture and mutilation.

Michaela L. Zajicek-Farber

Michaela L. Zajicek-Farber, MSW, LCSW-C, BCD, PhD Social Work, is Associate Professor with Tenure at the National Catholic School of Social Service.

Dr. Farber received her Ph.D. in Social Work from The Catholic University of America in 1990. Her dissertation was on Stress experience in parents raising a child with Down syndrome as related to the child’s transitional developmental period, parents’ appraisal of the child’s handicapping condition, and their personal coping and social resources. Dr. Farber also has an M.S.W. in Social Work from the same institution (1979), and a B.A.

Key Social Services for Refugee Survivors of Torture

In my work with survivors of torture in Jordan, every day I see how social services are an integral and extremely important element of healing. CVT uses an interdisciplinary model of care in our Jordan program, and social services represent the third angle of CVT’s services triangle, fully integrated with the other two disciplines: mental health counseling and physiotherapy. With this interdisciplinary approach, we are able to better serve beneficiaries (clients).

Mary Bunn

Mary Bunn is a licensed clinical social worker with expertise in international mental health, trauma and resilience in immigrant and refugee communities and trauma-informed, cross-cultural programming for communities impacted by chronic violence, trauma and stress. Previously Associate Director of Heartland Alliance Marjorie Kovler Center, Ms. Bunn now works as a consultant to national and international organizations addressing the mental health and psychosocial needs of displaced and violence-affected communities. She also serves as adjunct faculty member at the University of Chicago, School

RHS-15 handouts

This set of handouts, and the description that follows, was generously shared by Jennifer Shuart of Lowell Community Health Center's Metta Center in July 2016. Ms. Shuart is available to consult if you have further questions; contact healtorture@cvt.org for an introduction.

We began administering the RHS-15 screening in July 2015 at Metta.  What we observed prior to this is that clients were referred after a negative screening for behavioral health, but when they came in for the intake appointment really had no understanding of counseling or desire to engage in treatment.

We try to complete

Enhancing Empathy by Measuring Torture Symptoms with Survivors

This is the first part of a two-part training on how to use screening tools with survivors of torture to achieve more than just data collection. The webinar focused on the range of screening tools available to clinicians working with survivors of torture and how they can be used to improve clinical practice, improve evaluation practice, and enhance the capacity for empathy in their work. After this training, service providers will be able to evaluate and chose which screening tools may be most effective to use in their own programs.The presenters are experts from the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma, Northwest Health and Human Rights, and the Marjorie Kovler Center.

Addressing the Needs of Survivors of Torture: A Pilot Test of the Psychosocial Well-Being Index

Survivors of torture experience numerous psychosocial stressors that threaten individual well-being in resettlement. This study reports findings from a pilot test that applied the newly developed Survivors of Torture Psychosocial Well-Being Index. The study used a case-level mixed design to assess survivor psychosocial well-being across 16 life domains from intake up to 18 months. Ecological systems theory grounds this study. Participants demonstrated increased well-being as evidenced by statistically significant change on the mean ratings of their total scores.

Addressing the Needs of Survivors of Torture: A Pilot Test of the Psychosocial Well-Being Index

Early work with the Survivors of Torture Psychosocial Well-being Index (SOT-PWI), developed by Dr. Farber & Joan Hodges-Wu, shows promising results.  Survivors of torture experience numerous psychosocial stressors that threaten individual well-being in resettlement. This study reports findings from a pilot test that applied the newly developed Survivors of Torture Psychosocial Well-Being Index. The study used a case-level mixed design to assess survivor psychosocial well-being across 16 life domains from intake up to 18 months. Ecological systems theory grounds this study.

Group Treatment for Survivors of Torture and Severe Trauma: A Literature Review

This new literature review was coauthored by The National Capacity Building Project at the Center for Victims of Torture, the National Partnership for Community Training at Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services, and an expert in the torture rehabilitation field. It was published in Torture Journal (Vol. 26 No. 1).

Group treatment is an approach that can be used with larger groups of survivors and addresses a range of treatment issues. The authors examined key clinical practice issues for group treatment, including group composition and content, facilitation, and measurement strategies. The article points to a growing interest in the topic of group treatment for survivors of torture and severe violence, providing a comprehensive picture of group-based interventions, and highlighting the need for additional research and knowledge-building.

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