Reset has asked Shellee Burroughs, Clinical Operations Manager at Action for Child Trauma (ACT) International to put together these resources in order to provide some information about trauma in the Community Sponsorship context. As a Community Sponsorship Group, your role is never to diagnose or treat trauma, but to signpost the refugees you support to different professional services that can help if they express the need. However, you may find it helpful to understand how trauma can impact individuals differently so that your approach to supporting refugees remains empowering yet sensitive to the experiences the resettled family has been through.
Groups in Scotland may find it useful to read our Trauma Support in Scotland guidance.
How to use these resources
The Impact of Trauma
Reset’s resource, The Impact of Trauma, will provide you, as a Community Sponsorship Group with an outline of trauma information and is not designed to be used for diagnostic or treatment purposes. This document focuses on the impact of trauma and displaced persons but it is imperative that Groups keep in mind that not all refugees they support will be traumatised or shows signs of trauma. Remember to respect the privacy and independence of the individuals you support as we all deal with trauma differently.
We’ve divided this resource into four main sections:
- Displaced persons/refugee trauma- this section gives an overview of trauma mental health issues for those who’ve been forced to flee their country and how you, as a Community Sponsorship Group, can support them in their transition to life in the UK.
- Understanding trauma- looks at how all individuals experience trauma differently. It takes into consideration the various types of trauma and the different ways in which adults and children respond to traumatic experiences.
- Culture and trauma- this section explores how culture affects both how we express and how we process emotions. It also gives an overview common idioms of distress in Middle Eastern culture.
- Setting realistic expectations- the last section of this resource goes into the idea of gratitude and what we expect from the refugees we support. It will also look at how to speak to the refugees you support about their culture and communicate about their experiences in a sensitive way.
Your Wellbeing when Working with Refugees
When the family you support arrives through Community Sponsorship, you’ll have a lot to do, especially in the first few weeks. In order to give the effective support the family needs, you and your Group members also need to look after your own wellbeing and mental health. This resource aims to outline how to prioritise your self-care to avoid burnout, vicarious trauma or compassion fatigue when working with refugees.
To access these resources, you will need to login or register for an account.