Headington Institute Summer 2016 eNewsletter
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Expanding Our Support: Scalable Resources  
With the help of generous donors and committed staff, we consistently reach toward the goal of providing organizational resources for humanitarian workers and emergency responders to thrive in their work. One area that has become a priority is the need to make training more accessible to organizations of all sizes and budgets. Today's humanitarian environment is more challenging than ever. Those on the front lines are often under-resourced. We want to provide training to as many national and international staff as possible.

In-person trainings and individual consultations are helpful, but can be cost-prohibitive for large numbers of people or rotating staff groups. So, we have invested increasing amounts of time and effort this year to develop scalable resources - avenues of support and training that can be accessed by more people for less cost per person.

Alicia and I have been collaborating on two exciting new projects: a training video on the basics of stress, trauma, coping, and resilience, and an e-learning course on navigating interpersonal conflict. The content for these two resources has been the easy part. I shouldn’t say “easy,” but we do have helpful frameworks, relevant research, and illustrative examples to share, and we are regularly refining our content.

The big learning curve for us has been packaging this material. We’re thinking about our audience, the places they work, and the realities of their environment. We are asking: what will work best? In the virtual learning environment, what helps people apply what they learn? How can we cater to a variety of learning styles through the various features of online platforms? What are the features of different online platforms and how could they work?

There is still work to do, but we’re aiming to get both courses ready to launch over the summer. We’re excited to increase the impact of our work with these scalable services!                                                  
From the President
I’ve been reflecting on my conversations with humanitarian aid organizations since late 2000. I used to hear comments like, “Our employees are doing fine. They don’t need psychological support.” As the work became more difficult and dangerous, I was told, “Just provide counseling support for those traumatized by a critical incident. That’s all we need.” Thankfully, today we are also asked to provide proactive, capacity-building workshops and management consultations to build individual and team resilience. This helps aid workers prepare for their next assignment, increasing their effectiveness and speeding their recovery.

Our new work with domestic emergency responders seems to be following a similar path. Natural disasters, human-made disasters, and mass fatality incidents occurring in cities worldwide are growing in severity and frequency. We are all realizing the emotional impact on those who respond. As we help emergency workers in San Bernardino recover from a recent terrorist event, we're determined to build the resilience of those who will help us cope with what may be ahead. They need and deserve our support.                                                                                                             
Director of Research
We are pleased to announce Don Bosch as our new Director of Research! Don will guide the research committee's efforts to integrate research findings into all aspects of our work. Here are a couple of thoughts from Don on the importance of research.
Q: What is a goal you have as Director of Research?
A: One of the goals is to effectively unify different aspects of our work such as the clinical and business aspects, student research, and our own findings in a coherent direction.

Q: What role does research play in the work of the Headington Institute?
A: It is twofold. First, we likely have the largest database in the world on humanitarian aid workers' psychological vulnerabilities and resilience. Through this research, we are learning about what makes them resilient as they face changing humanitarian environments. Second, we stay attuned to relevant research in areas such as neuroscience. This influences the content we present as we apply this research to humanitarians and emergency responders.
~Roslyn, Don
Equipping Managers to Build Resilient Teams 
In April, I participated in an annual strategy summit for a European humanitarian organization. In attendance were regional and country directors from around the world. This organization understands that managers have an ethical and legal duty of care to monitor, identify, and manage stress as well as build resilience in their teams.
All attendees were responsible for large national and international teams, so I presented our stress and resilience workshop, including a significant segment on managing for stress and resilience. We used case studies to generate robust discussions which continued among the group in the days following - always a good sign! I did a workshop on advanced communication skills focusing on preparing for a conversation with a colleague who is showing signs of stress. I also provided a workshop for the human resources staff on caring for people experiencing traumatic stress during a critical incident. It is gratifying to see the global humanitarian community beginning to take their ethical responsibility to care for their personnel seriously. We are witnessing a shift in understanding. Failure to care for staff leads to a significant toll, not only on individuals, but also on organizations as resources must be diverted to cover the damage done through burn-out and stress-related health problems.                             
 Click on the links below for more Headington information and resources.
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