Finally, we did it!
We converted our in-person and online webinar coursesfor Psychosocial Support and Community Wellness (PSSCW) and Psychological First Aid into self-paced (work at your own speed) courses that you can access from any device. These courses bring together many of my favorite community based activities and evidence-based techniques. You can learn more about it by going to the free introduction here.
In both courses we focus on techniques for healing the community while offering self-care practices that can be easily shared. All modules give easy-to-replicate activities that can be adapted to fit local situations.. Some of these work best in groups, while others can be done alone. The self-care activities are designed to enhance inner listening skills and to support healing from trauma, stress and distress.
We also have a weekly Zoom meeting for enrolled students, where we answer questions and share experiences with others.
As an anthropologist, I bring a unique approach to the field of mental health and psychosocial support. The courses are based on over 35 years of experience in community development and community health in many countries under difficult circumstances. I spent almost 20 years working in the Global South. For example, I worked in Afghanistan under the Taliban in (1998-2001), with Afghan refugees in Pakistan in (1997-2001), in Japan after the tsunami in (2013), and with the World Health Organization (WHO) in Liberia during the Ebola crisis in 2014-2015.
Although the cultures of each community can be very different, the underlying human need for listening, healing, and social connection remains consistent. What I love about this is that it honors both the universal needs of individuals even while it places these individual needs in the specific context of the local community and culture.
These two threads cannot be separated. An individual struggles to be well when social support systems are damaged. And for a community to heal, to repair that damage, the individuals in it must do their own inner work. Their personal healing then strengthens the progress of the whole towards a state of well-being.
Past participants have benefited greatly and utilized their new knowledge and tools in the communities they help:
Information about how to sign up for the full PSSCW course is coming soon. For now, ou can learn more about it by going to the free introduction here.
NOTE: In keeping with Focusing Initiatives policy, we do not turn people away because they are unable to pay. For information on payment plans and scholarships, click here.
ALSO: If you can do so, please consider making an additional donation to help us cover the expenses for those who live in countries where wages are so low that paying the full cost of the training would place an unfair burden on them.