Headington Institute Summer eNewsletter
Helping Aid Workers In Nepal
Alicia Jones

Photo credit: ReSurge International

The April 25th earthquake in Nepal was the worst natural disaster there since 1934. The earthquake killed 8,800 people and injured 23,000. Hundreds of thousands were made homeless and in some areas entire villages were flattened. Many regions were only accessible by helicopter. Across the country, several World Heritage sites were destroyed.

After the earthquake we began helping immediately.  Don began connecting with first responder teams to make sure they had everything they needed to operate as effectively as possible, both as individuals and as a team. We also spent time consulting with agencies who had staff on the ground prior to the earthquake. Though still operating, these teams had been hit with overwhelming personal loss to friends and family. We consulted with management to discuss what would be needed when. We also provided debriefs for international staff exiting Nepal and circulated resources through humanitarian and first responder networks.

In the weeks and months ahead we will continue to debrief teams who are exiting the response and provide remote support for those who remain. Typically, after the first waves of response are completed, and the immediate needs of medical assistance, shelter, food and safety have been stabilized, responders will have time to assess their own wellbeing. As with Philippines and Haiti, we may be called to provide on the ground support to national staff central to the ongoing rebuilding effort.

In the meantime we are grateful for the work of all who go, and all who respond to the need at hand. It is our privilege to serve these teams.

Welcoming Lisa

We’re pleased to introduce Dr. Lisa Finlay! Lisa just joined our team in May as a consulting psychologist. Here are a few words from her as she begins her time with the Institute.

I am so pleased to have joined the extraordinary team at Headington Institute! I first learned about Headington Institute while I was a student at Fuller Graduate School of Psychology, helping Galen Buckwalter with research on allostatic load. At that point in time I had too many graduate school hurdles to think much about “real” jobs, but I do remember running into Don Bosch one day after he had returned from a security training event, and being struck by how excited he was about the work!

After my post-doctoral fellowship at UCSD, I worked for the Veterans Affairs hospital in Long Beach, CA. It was interesting work clinically, but when a friend let me know that Headington Institute was hiring, I was thrilled at the prospect of working for an organization with a mission that I believe in fully, amongst a team of really talented, caring people.

I think all the staff are deeply connected to the mission of Headington Institute in different ways, and it has been fun to learn about the life paths that led us all here. I’m not sure what instigated my interest in development work other than an idealistic and adventurous spirit, but after graduating from Rice University I decided to join Peace Corps and spent two and a half years in Mozambique. I remember seeing a brochure describing Peace Corps as “the most difficult job you will ever love,” and that proved to be true! That experience gives me a glimpse of some of the particular challenges that humanitarian aid workers face, and helps me understand the value of the services that Headington Institute provides.
    - Lisa


From the President

In two weeks my son, Jonathan, will graduate from elementary school. The ceremony will be a simpler version of graduation programs taking place at schools and universities this month. It's a time for reflection, recalling past lessons learned and anticipating future opportunities. I know I'll be proud of Jonathan. But I'll also feel a bit anxious about what he'll face in middle school next year. Is he ready? Am I?  

In many ways, finishing our fifteenth year of operation here at the Headington Institute feels similar. By every measure, this has been our busiest, most successful year. It marks our transition into a larger, more complicated organization. We're helping more people than ever, requiring us to add staff and programs. Both the opportunities and challenges are bigger. Are we ready? Like Jonathan, to succeed we must grow in every way, learning as we go. We know it's worth the effort, but it won't be easy. Thankfully, we're not doing this alone. Thanks for walking with us, helping us make these important transitions successfully.  - Jim

Honoring Rick

In April, the California Psychological Association honored our own Rick Williamson with a Distinguished Service award, specifically from the Division of Education and Training. Here at the Institute, we see Rick doing exceptional work, diligently preparing for pre-deployment assessments and facilitating training workshops. So we’re pleased that Rick’s outstanding service to the humanitarian, academic, and community mental health communities is being recognized beyond the Institute. Congratulations Rick!  - Fara


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