MHPSS.net is pleased to announce the first webinar in a series organised by the IASC MHPSS Reference Group’s working group on ‘MHPSS and Peacebuilding’. This webinar series features case examples of practice in the field linking MHPSS and Peacebuilding objectives and approaches. The approaches and practices shared during this series are not formally endorsed or promoted by the IASC MHPSS Reference Group, but rather are shared in the spirit of enabling dialogue, debate and learning.
Please find the recording embedded here:
The inaugural webinar “A Comparison of Interventions for Reduction in Distress: Trauma Healing and Peace Education” will feature presentations from Florence Ntakarutimana (Catholic Relief Services), Bill Froming (Palo Alto University) and Karen Bronk Froming (Palo Alto University) that focus on the work of Catholic Relief Services in the Central African Republic.
Description of Webinar: “Ongoing conflict between opposing militias has left over 6,000 Central African Republic (CAR) residents dead and over a million internal and externally displaced people. With widespread trauma, mental health needs in CAR are considerable. To address the need for services, a study was designed to implement and evaluate two workshops: peace education and trauma awareness/healing. The two workshops were equally effective in improving mental health. The findings demonstrate the benefit of the workshops to reduce suffering in traumatized populations. These presentations will share the approaches employed in the interventions, the results of the study, and will explore implications for working in low resource / high conflict areas, as well as recommendations for investigating the active ingredients in each workshop to better understand the source of the outcomes, contributing to the common understanding of these mechanisms across both approaches.”
Florence Ntakarutimana M.A. Counseling, is a Program Manager of a USAID/CMM Central African Republic Ita na Ita People to People (P2P) Peacebuilding Project. Florence began working as a Trauma Healing Specialist in 2006, using a methodology called Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities (HROC) in Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Kenya. Currently as the Program Manager with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) she continues to apply this model with the people of Central African Republic. Florence’s service population is comprised of victims of the genocide, war, violence and poverty, mostly women, local leaders, youth and children. Most people she works with, are illiterate, have difficulty accessing education, healthcare, clean water, electricity, and daily essentials.
Bill Froming, Ph.D., is trained as a research psychologist in personality and social psychology. He has been a faculty member at Palo Alto University for 32 years and has served in numerous leadership positions, and oversaw two doctoral programs. In 2011 he developed the Global Advancement of Counseling Excellence (GACE) program, combining web-based delivery of instructional materials with counseling skill training in the local community and culture, which has provided a training model for students around the world. In 2008 he was an invited speaker at the Raphael Lemkin Seminar for Genocide Prevention in Auschwitz, Poland, and at International Genocide Conferences in the US and Rwanda.
Karen Bronk Froming, Ph. D., ABPP-ABCN is a board-certified neuropsychologist and clinical psychologist teaching clinical interviewing, differential diagnosis, case conceptualization, neuropsychological assessment, and the neuropsychology of trauma. She supervises both Fellows in Clinical Psychology and Residents in Psychiatry. Dr. Froming’s ongoing commitment is to capacity building in post-genocide Rwanda and now in Central African Republic. She has made many trips to Rwanda studying the circumstances of the genocide and civil war as part of a longstanding interest in genocide and its precursors; and has taught self-help trauma symptom reduction.
Melissa Tucker is the Technical Advisor for Psychosocial Support for CRS’s Humanitarian Response Department. With a clinical background in psychology focusing on trauma and complex humanitarian crises, Melissa has moved from direct service and applied research to supporting country programs and partners in mental health and psychosocial support activities, and promoting integration of MHPSS with other sectors including peacebuilding and shelter.