FOR STRESS AND TRAUMA TREATMENT
WHAT WE DO
Trauma and trauma-based disorders and diseases pose a massive global burden in human, economic, social and security terms. Perhaps as many as 500 million people worldwide suffer from PTSD. Exposure to traumatic events and circumstances is growing each year. Consider the plight of refugees, IDPs and the service providers helping them; or of survivors of sexual violence and torture; or of former combatants, including former child soldiers and war veterans; or of survivors of natural disasters, crime, abuse and accidents. What these disparate populations have in common is that they all suffer from invisible wounds, which lead to their lives being severely impaired—as well as the lives of their families and their communities.
Yet, in much of the world trauma remains unrecognized, undiagnosed and therefore untreated. General pessimism about the availability of a suitable, affordable, recognized and scalable treatment modality has led to very low budgets begin allocated for trauma treatment (and mental health altogether). This largely explains why hitherto the worldwide response has been minimal.
At the same time, the more science learns about trauma, the more pressing the need becomes to address the impact on those who are directly and indirectly affected. The existence of effective treatments nowadays makes it possible.
To overcome the structural shortage of professional therapist, trainers and advocates, the need is to build greater capacity of conventional and innovative human resources.
GIST-T aims to foster the development, promotion and application of evidence-based therapies to help manage and treat trauma and trauma-based conditions, and to make them accessible to vulnerable populations worldwide.
GIST-T’s focus is therefore on: raising awareness, encouraging and facilitating training of professional and paraprofessional personnel, promoting the scaling up and use of trauma care services, furthering research, and fundraising, partnering and contracting for sustainability. Specific objectives are listed below:
• Engage humanitarian and protection agencies dealing with violent conflicts and natural disasters in a listening exercise to better understand how trauma is dealt with among their personnel and the vulnerable communities they serve
• Make advocacy presentations and give orientation sessions to selected organizations and other stakeholders
• Promote the establishment of a International Trauma Awareness Day
• Use the GIST-T Confronting Stress and Trauma Resource Kit for face-to-face and online training in psycho-education and self-care
• Support the piloting of innovative training approaches to expand the number of skilled paraprofessionals and volunteers, using simplified protocols
the Scaling-Up of Services
• Promote organizational staff welfare by brokering training, psychosocial services and trauma care
• Advocate for increased stress and trauma care, and for psychological support services for selected target populations
• Broker relationships that will increase the capacity of local, national and regional organizations to provide stress and trauma care
• Advocate for increased resource allocation for training, e-learning, peer-to-peer support programmes, and stress and trauma care
Increased Use of Services
• Engage key stakeholders in social mobilization and in the lowering of barriers associated with stigma, time costs and affordability
• Foster the production, review and dissemination of relevant research on promising approaches that will help bridge the gap between need/demand for trauma treatment services and supply of mental health professionals
• Organize international meetings to present and discuss evidence-based research on the use of paraprofessionals and simplified protocols
Contracting for Sustainability
• Raise funds necessary (i) to implement projects, (ii) to subsidize certain training activities, (iii) for operations and activities aimed at increasing the profile for the need for trauma care and treatment, and (iv) for GIST-T to continue operations with a sustainable business model