Secondary Trauma and Local Mental Health Professionals in Post Conflict Sierra Leone

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Tuesday, July 7th to Wednesday, September 30th

Please join us in an online, open forum on telehealth. NCB is providing an opportunity for clinicians to ask each other questions, share observations and adapted telehealth protocols for the SoT population via an online forum and technical exchange. This conversation will be a forum for peer-led informational exchange. NCB staff will assist in facilitating and monitoring the conversation.

Directions: Please watch Eugene Augusterfer’s presentation and interview Telemedicine in Mental Health first. Then feel free to join us in this open forum. All are welcome to join this forum, whether you have an account on or not. For more information on using the forum, please read the directions on the first post. Please keep your comments respectful, relevant, factual, and do not share identifying information about clients per client privacy and HIPAA regulations. This forum will be open from July 6, 2020 through September 30, 2020.

Akinsulure-Smith, A.M. & Keatley, E. (2013). Secondary Trauma and Local Mental Health Professionals in Post Conflict Sierra Leone. International Journal for the Advancement of Counseling, 36 (2), 125-135. doi: 10.1007/s10447-013-9197-5. 

Abstract: This pilot study explores the impact of secondary stress on the emotional well-being of local mental health professionals (N = 44) in Sierra Leone, a country recovering from a brutal civil war, while examining the types of training and support offered to these professionalsby their organizations. While age and number of different types of traumatizing lifeevents to which a professional was exposed was significantly associated with emotional well-being (r(33) = −.39, p = .02 and r(33) = .33, p = .05 respectively), traumatizing life events did not predict depression or PTSD and work-related stress was not found to predict any symptoms. The results are discussed in light of challenges faced by local mental health professionals who work with a traumatized population while dealing with their own conflict-related experiences and their professional and organizational support systems. Implications for future research and self-care strategies are also highlighted.


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