Give an Hour: Assisting with Afghan Evacuation and Resettlement
The ongoing crisis in Afghanistan is complex and spans decades. The most recent incidents have effected military servicemembers who served in Afghanistan and Afghans who are arriving to the U.S. What can mental health providers who treat clients across Give an Hour’s national network of care do to build trust and overcome treatment-related stigma? This continuing education online webinar event will provide a wealth of new insights to help mental health providers become aware of the history of Afghanistan, the current events that led to displacement, and the basic values and cultural practices. As a result, providers will be skilled in building trust and create an open dialogue around possible challenges clients utilizing Give an Hour may experience. Attendees will be able to:
- Describe culturally responsive ways to interact with individuals in the Afghan and Central Asian Population.
- Describe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Identify the cultural and linguistic attributes that affect mental health in Afghan individuals
Freshta Taeb, BA is an accomplished professional with over ten years of valuable experience developing and managing resettlement programs for asylum seekers and refugees through community outreach. She is experienced in social work, case management, individual and group counseling, training, and instruction. Freshta excels at community engagement and fostering understanding between underserved populations and government entities. In doing so, she has spearheaded interventional services for a diverse refugee population across the United States in a variety of categories including but not limited to socio-emotional struggles, marriage intervention, PTSD, anger management and parenting.
Attend this training and receive 1 hour CE credit
*Continuing Education Credits: Give an Hour is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Give an Hour maintains responsibility for this program and its content. There is no known commercial support for this training. This program is pending approval by the National Association of Social Workers for 1 continuing education contact hour. Providers must attend entire presentation for credit.
Why This Population?
GAH was founded to address the gap in mental health services for men and women returning from Afghanistan post-9/11 – and many of our providers joined with this same founding mission. At that time, service members who brought attention to mental health concerns were at risk of negative personal and professional consequences, including discharge from service. The social stigma was and continues to run deep within the armed services community- even though society, as well as our military partners, have made significant strides to address and offer mental health care.
The past 20 years of US involvement in conflict/war in Afghanistan, the 20-year anniversary of 9/11 and the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan last August have created a perfect storm of unaddressed trauma and stress for military veterans, civilian supporters and Afghan resettlers.
The U.S. employed thousands of Afghan citizens as interpreters, translators, cultural advisors, drivers, and more. “Employees” who linked arms with American military members and bravely fought to change the climate in their country. With the Taliban now in control of Afghanistan, these individuals and their families have been and many continue to be in grave danger.
Former military members, loved ones and civilians chose to, once again, take up the fight to protect those Afghan citizens by helping coordinate their safe departure from Afghanistan. In many cases, this coordination still continues – as not all Afghan military or their endangered loved ones have been able to flee to safety. Through these hardships, there are opportunities to deepen GAH’s impact within the military community by helping those experiencing trauma from the August evacuation, continued evacuation efforts, and the challenges related to resettlement efforts and systems strains in the U.S.
Give an Hour is dedicated to improving the lives of, embracing the diversity of, and providing the tools and opportunities needed for veterans and active-duty military and their families to thrive. Our veterans have loudly expressed that the Afghan military, contracted employees and their loved ones (who supported the war) are their family, and we agree.
A number of organizations recently emerged to help with resettlement, joining with helping agencies, yet there has been virtually no organized system of mental health care offered – until now. Give an Hour received an exclusive invitation from the #afghanevac coalition to partner on the integration of mental health support for US and Afghan military veterans and their loved ones. To help alleviate immediate needs, we are developing mental health resiliency resources to support coalition members sustaining these efforts, providing training to those still engaged in evacuation and resettlement efforts, beginning a peer support program, and building capacity to offer access to mental health supports.
While recent events may be politicized, we are at the table to continue this legacy of offering barrier-free mental health support and care to those in need. In preparation for future stages, we would like to ensure we prepare interested providers with what they need to offer this continuation of the post 9/11 work in which we were founded on.