Resources

Help with ongoing stresses and challenges in life

Check www.helpguide.org . I refer to it to be reminded about basics on topics like managing stress, burnout or depression. It also has information on dealing with troubled teens, addictions and all sorts of things that might arise as issues on international assignments.

I carry a psychological first aid ‘app’ on my smartphone. It is a valuable quick guide to understanding behaviours and providing useful assistance. (http://www.nctsn.org/content/pfa-mobile )

A special focus on stress and mental health on international assignments

One of my favorite resources is the Headington Institute (http://headington-institute.org/ ). These folk are dedicated to providing assistance to we who work in challenging international environments. They offer self-assessment tests, research, advice, on-line self-directed courses, links, workshop outlines in case you get called on to deliver a training in dealing with stress or trauma and much more. It is first rate – and all free. Check it out.

Stress injuries and PTSD

Many of us know someone who has a serious stress injury or PTSD, or we may ourselves have been hurt. A Canadian psychologist has an outstanding blog and site that provides insight and advice for dealing with such injuries – delivered with humour and deep respect. I highly recommend it. (http://canadianveteransadvocacy.com/comingbackhome ).

You might also check the information on a site created by Veterans Affairs in the US. (http://www.ptsd.va.gov/ ).

Work in disaster zones

If you are involved in a project which includes a need for psychosocial care for populations affected by trauma, a lot of work has been done to define standards and best practices. You might start with the WHO Psychological First Aid Guide for field workers (http://www.who.int/mental_health/publications/guide_field_workers/en/index.html )

For a larger perspective on disasters (ie dealing with issues of food, water, health, security, etc.,) I recommend looking at The Sphere Project :Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response ( http://www.sphereproject.org/)

If you are stuck and want help in finding other resources, please send me a note. There are bookshelves of real and virtual guides. I’d be glad to help you sort among them.

Best wishes,
Randy Weekes (randy.weekes@canadem.ca)