SalusWorld’s recent work in Myanmar (formerly Burma) has trained more than 800 counseling professionals living in the capital city of Yangon and on the Thai/Burma border to handle increased demands for mental health services. We have also served more than 100 individuals in our group psychotherapy model - Sharing Circles. The rising demand for psychosocial services was triggered by a rapidly changing society and various complex trauma experiences secondary to the actions of the ruling junta government. SalusWorld’s successes in Myanmar include a regional initiative that will bring mental health and psychosocial support to former political prisoners; members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community and their straight allies; sex workers and people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). The growing size of the program reflects a new recognition of the importance of caring for the emotional as well as the physical needs of people everywhere.
One of SalusWorld’s biggest successes to date is in the establishment, training, empowerment, organizational development and successful hand-off of a local organization called Fortune Mental Health.
In South Africa, SalusWorld works as an expert consult to an established local NGO called Woli Nani. To date, five experts have been sent pro-bono to help build the capacity of their local providers and help expand the organization’s funding and development efforts.
Therapeutic Photography Workshops
Ms. Hillary Prag launched her first therapeutic photography project in Seattle in 2006. From there she worked with at-risk youth in Boston, Denver, Port-au-Prince, and Haiti. In June 2010, as a SalusWorld consultant Ms. Prag conducted photography workshops as a clinical intervention for adolescent trauma among Shan Refugees in Wiang Wai, Thailand. Now, SalusWorld’s photography workshops are offered to children and adolescents in marginalized communities around the world.
The goal of the photography program is to equip care givers with the skills necessary to lead a photojournalism workshop attended by traumatized adolescents in their community. Photography is used to help participants better understand each other’s lives and to make visible their unique struggles and perspectives. Participants move from being victims of their trauma to advocates for themselves and others with similar stories. The children who have participated in these workshops have been able to share their experiences with the world visually, and are considered to be pioneers in their community for having the courage to tell the vulnerable stories that everyone holds inside. Half the proceeds from the sale of any artwork always goes back to the children for their education and well-being.
Our past photography workshops have focused on a small group of children ages 16-20. The workshops lasted for 5-12 weeks, meeting at least once a week depending on participants' schedules. If you are interested in having SalusWorld or a resident photographer/trainer, visit your organization to help implement psycho-social projects, training or photography workshops please contact our Director of International & Clinical Services, Dr. Gwen Vogel Mitchell (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The JADE Center (in partnership with Place Bridge Academy)
Collaborating with Place Bridge Academy in Denver, CO, SalusWorld established the JADE (Justice, Advocacy, Diversity and Equality) Center to assist refugees, immigrants, trauma survivors, and resettled families in distress living in the greater Denver area. JADE Center provided asylum evaluations, legal consultations, mental health services, and other immigration support services to refugees and asylum seekers. In 2011, a free peer support certificate workshop was offered over three days in June (13th, 15th, & 17th) to refugee and immigrant women, equipping them with an assets-based model of trauma support for the community. Topics covered included stress & anxiety related to resettlement; separation, loss, & death; the healing process; and recovering strengths.