Psychosocial Support / Community Wellness is our primary Initiative. We work in traumatized places in the world, including war-torn Afghanistan and Pakistan, tsunami-affected Japan, poverty stricken rural Mexico, and ebola-threatened Liberia. By respecting each unique situation in its particular cultural context, our approach enables communities to discover their specific “right way” forward.
Of or relating to the interrelation of social factors and individual thought and behavior. (www.yourdictionary.com/psychosocial )
Our work, which we call Community Wellness, is founded on a public health approach that includes the following:
Most illnesses are preventable, including various types of mental illness.
Individual wellness is grounded in the community.
The community itself contains many solutions to its own health needs and already has devised many techniques to encourage resilience and wellness.
For details on the community’s role and the importance of self-care in ensuring wellness and supportive community processes, see Mental Health Guidelines at World Health Organization.
With minimal training, people can connect with their inner source of resilience and to that of their community. Through the appropriate kind of attention, healing begins. Focusing Initiatives International teachers/facilitators practice these skills and share them with others through our innovative and culturally appropriate programs. To tap into this local wisdom, we identify those who are already recovering and thriving. We learn from them, adopt and adapt strategies, and help them share their experiences with others in their community.
Through our process, community members:
- find the resilience to address problems
- improve community connections
- change how they face the stresses of daily life
- overcome creative blocks
- explore spiritual connections in their inner lives
- discover how they can be part of positive changes in the world
To foster resilience and community engagement, Focusing Initiatives International:
- Offers workshops on human development, including psychosocial wellness, healing from trauma, and coping with and reducing stress. We promote locally existing positive coping skills and wellness practices to create just and peaceful communities.
Mentors trainers throughout the world in Focusing and other processes that aid in self-reflection, communication and greater listening skills, so that they can become more effective leaders and promote wellness, emotional safety, and human development in their own communities.
- Provides technical assistance to individuals and organizations to help them design, establish, fund, and operate local programs and projects to promote human development.
The success of our method, used in Afghanistan, was evaluated by The International Rescue Committee (IRC) and PARSA, two independent non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and found to:
- Reduce violence in families and schools
- Improve wellbeing and physical health
- Reduce reliance on over-the-counter and illegal drugs and alcohol
- Increase capacity to facilitate peace and reconciliation