“Michael,” a clinical psychologist in New York, treated hundreds of patients impacted by September 11th, suffering from PTSD. While his patients’ mental health improved, his own, he noticed, deteriorated. Social workers and caregivers who help others can become traumatized by the very care they provide others, as the Atlantic wrote in their article that detailed Michael’s story, “When PTSD is Contagious.”
According to this same article,
“Thirty to 40 percent of mental-health clients in the U.S. show symptoms of post-traumatic stress. By one estimate, as many as half of the psychotherapists who treat these patients could have symptoms of ‘secondary’ or acquired trauma.”
Providers ASPIRE was created to address the unique needs of care providers like Michael, in this case those directly supplying services to refugees in Turkey. This need is critical. In fact, as Providers ASPIRE notes on their website,
“…Limited attention has been paid to service providers who assist or support refugees in their recovery, especially in Turkey. Unidentified and untreated effects can negatively affect service providers, those they care for, and the agencies they work for.”
ASPIRE aims to examine secondary trauma that providers face in working with their clients. The findings from this research would inform training of the mental health providers.
Recently, part of the SIG ASPIRE team traveled to Turkey to meet in-country partners Istanbul Aydin University (IAU) & Columbia University Global Center-Istanbul. During their visit, they finalized the research and identified future collaboration opportunities.
Stay tuned to ASPIRE’s blog this month for an upcoming post about this visit which will highlight the importance of this research for the well-being providers.
Discover more about ASPIRE:
- Learn more about Providers ASPIRE here.
- Learn how to get involved as a student or find out more about the consortium and research.
- See ASPIRE’s Turkey research partners.
ASPIRE’s partners also include Columbia University School of Social Work, Istanbul Aydin University, INCITE, Columbia University Global Center-Istanbul, and Human Resource Development Foundation (HRDF).
Interested in learning more and coping with the stress of social work?
Check out related workshops offered by the Columbia University School of Social Work here: https://socialwork.columbia.edu/events/.