On Feb 21 – 28 – Feminenza held the Introduction meetings for Secondary Traumatic Stress – Developing Resilience project* when all Participants met for the first time!!
100 participants representing 21 NGOs from: Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Netherlands, Palestinian Territories, Romania, Turkey, United Kingdom
At the launch of the Feminenza Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS) – Developing Resilience project, in the NGO sector, youth workers, and service providers, we were thrilled to see so many participants from so many different countries. It was an exciting combination of so many different people from a variety of fields, all sharing the purpose of providing an opportunity for a better life for many vulnerable young people, those who were forced to flee for their lives, those neglected or abandoned by their families, or fleeing a broken home or a fate more terrible than being on the streets alone, homeless, abused.
The participants, mainly youth workers, are often the first line of informal support available for many on the edge of civil society: refugees; homeless; victims of conflict, gender-based violence, sex trafficking; in poverty; living with trauma, mentally ill. In some settings, they are the only doorway to rehabilitation, warmth, and hope to such souls. More than 64% came with first-hand experience of personal trauma or Secondary Traumatic Stress. The latter, more commonly known as ‘compassion fatigue, can have the same symptoms as PTSD: depression, fatigue, anxiety, impulsive reactivity, outbursts of anger, sense of loss of control, desperation, incompetency, trouble sleeping.
Secondary Traumatic Stress is often unrecognized by the person who is experiencing it but is noticed by those around them, the change in behavior, habits, responses, and reactions. It can be forestalled.
At the launch meeting, as the participants contributed and worked with each other, the span of experience brought to the project gave everyone pause. A time to be together inside the richness and appreciation for human life.
The project is collaborative and interactive, where participants will prepare and plan some of the session, share and contribute from their varied experience, lessons learned, as we all engage to establish best practices to create awareness about STS.
This project prepares participants to understand STS, how to prevent it from developing as well as the self-care measures needed to step out of the stop situations that STS presents. It prepares the participants to be mindful of, and skilled with:
The role of Gender in STS and trauma
Understanding and managing fear and anxiety
The place of forgiveness and letting go of the past
Building awareness of STS in the workplace, managing STS risks, and instigating a culture that supports self-care
Reflective processes which develop resilience
We are all looking forward to the first module – The role of gender in STS and Trauma.
Special Thanks to all Feminenza Liaisons, Volunteers, and the Educational Team for their unwavering commitment to continue developing this work and making it available.
*Secondary Traumatic Stress – Developing Resilience aka Trauma Healing Community Resilience Development project – focus on Secondary Traumatic Stress.