In nearly all of our programs, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) staff see the psychological toll of humanitarian emergencies. Violence, armed conflict, disease outbreaks, natural disasters, sexual violence, and neglect can be profoundly traumatic for individuals who live through them and lead to severe mental health issues both in the moment and beyond. In 2014 alone, MSF conducted more than 185,000 individual consultations and 32,000 group counseling sessions that focused specifically on the psychological well-being of our patients.
What’s more, our staff are not immune from the weight of these emergencies, and MSF as an organization has developed a host of programs to help aid workers address the traumas they see and experience as they deliver urgently needed humanitarian assistance.
Join us as a panel of MSF mental health experts discuss the “invisible wounds” they see in the field, and the various methods used to address them, both in project locations and back home.
Viewer participation is encouraged via a chat feature available during the webcast.
Kaz de Jong, PhD, is a psychologist and the head of the staff care unit for MSF, which addresses the psychosocial and mental health needs of national and international field staff. De Jong has more than 20 years of experience with MSF, treating both staff and patient trauma. He wrote MSF's mental health guidelines in 2008 and 2011, and most recently, authored the book, Mass Conflict and Care in War Affected Areas.
Dorothy Morgos, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and head of MSF-USA's psychosocial care unit, providing mental health support for returning MSF field workers. She also recently worked in MSF projects in Jordan and Yemen, treating both patients and staff.
Athena Viscusi, licensed clinical social worker, has worked as a mental health care provider for MSF in Haiti, Liberia, South Sudan, and Myanmar, and was involved with MSF's Ebola response in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Moderated by Phil Zabriskie, managing editor, MSF-USA.