In order to help victims and communities who have survived major disasters, Brit Olam established a Recovery and Rehabilitation Unit to advance community resilience programs and to develop a knowledge base in this field. The unit builds local capacity by disseminating this knowledge and assisting local professionals with implementation within their communities.
Brit Olam’s Psycho-Trauma Rehabilitation Unit is managed and developed by Dr. Rony Berger, to provide psychosocial, medical and supportive aid to individuals and communities in the aftermath of major disasters. This unit develops empirically based community rehabilitation interventions and programs in the areas of public medicine, mental health, education and employment. Using Brit Olam’s experience in this field, the unit aims to build local community capacity by training leaders and professionals to assist in designing and implementing community rehabilitation programs and psycho-social preparation before and after manmade or natural disasters.
The unit’s guiding principles:
Inclusivity – Our programs are designed to address the individual, the family, the community and the culture.
Salutogenic approach – Our programs focus on community’s strengths and resources rather than on weaknesses and pathologies.
Holistic approach – When designing programs, we take into consideration the somatic, psychological, social and spiritual aspects of the target population.
Cultural sensitivity – Brit Olam respects local traditions and incorporates them into its psycho-social programs.
Within the psychosocial framework, the unit employs empirically-based, culturally sensitive programs such as the Psychological First Aid Kit (PFAK), Enhancing Resiliency among Students Experiencing Stress (ERASE-STRESS), and Preparing Clergy for Disaster Response (PCDR) and Advanced Trauma Training (ATT). Some of these interventions have been implemented in the aftermath of major disasters in the Tsunami in Asia, the terror attacks in Sri Lanka and Thailand, and the earthquakes in Georgia and Haiti.
Stories from the Field: Rehabilitation efforts in Sri Lanka