To Our Colleagues in Personnel…
This monthly “resource tool” is designed to provide insight for personnel workers in ministry-related areas. If you would like to be removed from the list (or a friend would like to be added), please let me know… firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
“Building Skills for Member Care with Excellence” -- Jan. 10-14, 2011. Mark your calendars. We’d love to have you with us. More info coming.
Counseling openings available: In Link Care’s “Program of Restoration and Personal Growth” – now is a good time to consider sending missionaries who could use a “tune-up” (or even more help). Between the busy winters and summers – the spring time (now) usually means we have more openings. As questions or desired consultations come up, don’t hesitate to call or write. Ken Royer = 559 439 5920 ext. 122; firstname.lastname@example.org.
The focus for this month: We’ve all been deeply saddened regarding the traumatic situations in Haiti. I’m grateful for Link Care’s President, Dr. Brent Lindquist, and his work in responding to crises. The following wisdom is from Brent…
I (Brent) have been working with Trans World Radio for almost ten years. We are gearing up to coordinate and develop media resources for the aftermath of the Haiti Earthquake.
What follows is my guidelines material for the 30 content providers who regularly do radio programs. While it is specifically for my work with TWR, it is useful beyond just media.
Please work through
the document and feel free to use any of the ideas in developing or enhancing
your own crisis response resources. If you would care to, please give me
feedback on it, or provide me with additional comments about future program
content. Also, let me know if you would like to be on the list for future
revisions of the document, and a developing list of programs we are creating.
Contact me at email@example.com.
MemberCare Media Coordinated Response for Haiti
Brent Lindquist, Ph.D.
Link Care Center
Content Coordinator, MemberCare Radio, TWR-Europe
January 29, 2010
The Haiti 2010 Earthquakes have been and are continuing to be a major devastation to that country and its people. MemberCare Media (MCM) has asked me to develop a coordinated response, from a Membercare perspective, in my role as content coordinator. This coordination shall serve to illustrate our philosophy and missiology of caring via media, especially radio, to the people of Haiti, and serve as a model for future crisis response of all kinds globally. This is specifically developed for MCR content producers, and our community of content providers. It is also hoped that these guidelines may be of benefit to other ministry initiatives. While this document and its suggestions may serve as a guide for Membercare Radio (MCR), it is not meant to be the official response of the rest of TWR entities and partners. Finally, these guidelines are developmental. That is, they will be revised as new information becomes available. I am trying to get this to a lot of friends in this work arena, to get their input.
One of the problems inherent in any Complex Humanitarian Emergency is the inequity of response across the crisis response timeline. By far, the greatest response occurs immediately following the crisis, as well as the most funds released. People need to be rescued and made safe, wounds need to be treated, the dead buried, and the survivors given some type of shelter. This is currently going on in Haiti. Radio response during this time is important and programs of spiritual support and guidance are needed. However, because the response is so strong in these earliest days, MCR is going to be focusing its efforts both on the first two phases, but especially on later phases of crisis response. The Red Cross and other entities typically refer to a four-phase model of disaster response/recovery:
1. Heroic Phase: This phase usually occurs directly after the disaster, when heroic actions are taken to help people recover from and/or survive a disaster. The media may be just arriving on the scene or not yet arrived at this phase. First Responders may not be completely activated.
2. Honeymoon Phase: In this phase people draw together to solve problems in an intense showing of community. Media interest is intense during this phase. This phase generally lasts from one week to six months. Honeymoon is a real misnomer in terms of Haiti. The conditions are harsh, and are taxing the abilities of even the most seasoned first responders.
3. Disillusionment Phase: People begin to get a mentality of “everyone for himself” when delays and other issues common with disaster set in. About this time media interest begins to fade and blame is assigned. This phase could extend from two months to one to three years.
4. Recovery Phase: People start to pull together again to get things done, Delays in the process continue to garner negative feelings and reactions. The media may revisit the disaster at this time (one-year anniversaries, etc.)
Most of the attention and resources will be focused on Phases 1 and 2. TWR globally is already responding to these phases by providing programming content. MCR has produced a number of programs as well. They are in English and funds are being raised to contextualize and translate them into Creole. Fewer resources will be available for Phase 3, and this is where I am hoping to coordinate major MCR programming efforts. It should be noted that the four phases are somewhat loosely defined, and their time frames overlap. Also, a country in such pre-crisis straits as Haiti, will probably not fit the model as well as, say the US. In other words, people in Haiti may progress to Phase 3 sooner, and stay there longer. Another perspective might be that people in Haiti were in such chaos before that the disillusionment phase may not be as big a drop…
Existing Content Models
There are many resources available in print format, which are being collected currently. Just from my own work, there is a series of audio shorts entitled “Growth Through Hardship” created in 2005 for Hurricane Katrina.
This can be downloaded at: (http://www.seasonsofcaring.org/resource_view.php?RID=5&RCID=2).
Also, introductory information about a model of Post-traumatic growth is presented here: (http://www.seasonsofcaring.org/development_view.php?DID=3).
Additionally, there are numerous crisis response related radio programs I have created over the years. We are assembling a list of them from the MCR website. They will soon be available as both audio programs and scripts. We plan on our website linking to other resources and websites as time goes on.
1. The international crisis response entities and personnel – Some of our programs should be directed toward the first responders, as well as the continuing responders. These personnel would be international in scope.
2. Haitian resource people – this would include pastors, ministry leaders, governmental political and educational people and others.
3. The survivor community themselves, including all ages in the life span.
1. We are working in a context where English is mostly a second language, and the USAmerican culture is not the dominant culture. Simple “non-jargoned” English needs to be the operating language. Also, resources for TA 3 will most likely be the translated into at least Creole, if not French and or other languages.
2. While there are numerous models of mental health crisis response, we will be working most closely with the “Psychological First Aid” model developed by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and the National Center for PTSD. There are numerous reasons for this choice. First it is the approach I have recently been trained in as a trainer for PFA for Central California. I have been adapting it for cross-cultural environments. It appears at present to be suited for quick dispersal in the immediate aftermath of a crisis, and all our target audiences can utilize its modular concepts equally well. Here is an introduction to PFA from the PFA Field Operations Guide:
Psychological First Aid is an evidence-informed modular approach to help children, adolescents, adults, and families in the immediate aftermath of disaster and terrorism. Psychological First Aid is designed to reduce the initial distress caused by traumatic events and to foster short- and long-term adaptive functioning and coping. Principles and techniques of Psychological First Aid meet four basic standards. They are:
1. Consistent with research evidence on risk and resilience following trauma
2. Applicable and practical in field settings
3. Appropriate for developmental levels across the lifespan
4. Culturally informed and delivered in a flexible manner
Psychological First Aid does not assume that all survivors will develop severe mental health problems or long-term difficulties in recovery. Instead, it is based on an understanding that disaster survivors and others affected by such events will experience a broad range of early reactions (spiritual, physical, psychological, and behavioral). Some of these reactions will cause enough distress to interfere with adaptive coping and recovery may be helped by support from compassionate and caring disaster responders.
Major Content Arenas/Themes/Stances
MCR is tapping into multiple content sources for the development of programmatic resources. Some will be borrowed, with permission as is, and made available for broadcast or distribution. An example might be archived programs from all content providers of MCR which we already have available. Other material may be borrowed and adapted from other media audio sources.
However, as we develop new content, my goal is that we utilize the following perspectives so that we are not intentionally or unintentionally working at cross-purposes.
Realistic Appraisal with optimistic/hopeful forecasting. By this I mean that our program content should be realistic in terms of the reality of the situations, but intentionally offer multidimensional hope (psychological/emotional/spiritual) for the future.
Normalization of Survivor Reactions. Assuming from the parameters of PFA, programming will seek to provide support by normalizing emotional response to the crisis. For example, parents’ normal reactions in this crisis are to be afraid for the safety of their children. A program addressing fear, would normalize fear, and seek to give the listener a hopeful understanding of the future.
Practical help strategies for self care. There will most likely be few if any professional caregivers available for most listeners. Let’s try to help people help themselves, and help those around them. Kind of a peer-to-peer approach.
Recovery of Hope, Finding Hope anew. Can listeners sense the hope that you offer in your programs?
Biblically-based examples as possible. This may be obvious, since our context is the faith-based community. I am concerned that we orient any materials we have towards biblical examples, and directly reference them as possible. I am hoping by this slant that the listener can continue to utilize those concepts in their larger spiritual life. For example, scripture portions accompanying content on anxiety could perhaps be more easily recalled during prayer and worship, than some psychologically oriented content alone.
Here I list some off the cuff ideas for programming ideas. I do not think outsiders would necessarily produce them, but we could gather information and resources for local programming efforts.
1. Games fostering healing
2. Storying exercises – like therapeutic story telling…
3. Going further ideas – like active listening skills.
4. After the deployment – self care for responders.
This is where I am today. I will be extending the list of program topics, and send out updates. If you have any feedback on any of this, please let me know. I am hopeful we will have a section of the website which will keep people informed In the meantime, you can email me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for you involvement and input.