Social Services

Toys for stress management

Stress toys can be helpful to give the client something physical to occupy their hands with and ground them during a stressful session. Recommended toys:

  • "floppy noodle balls" or "puffer balls" are tactile and flexible, and can be found in online stores like the Trainer's Warehouse or Curious Minds.
  • "magic loops" are metal rings with beads that can be folded into ball-like and flower-like shapes, and can be found at Office Playground.
  • the Hoberman’s Sphere is a foldable ball that can be used as a visual guide for a breathing exercise. It can be found at the Hoberman website.

Other good sources

Grounding exercises

There are many grounding activities that can help survivors cope with flashbacks. These exercises aim to bring the survivor into the present moment.

One common exercise is called 5-4-3-2-1: You teach the survivor to notice FIVE things s/he can see; FOUR things s/he can touch or feel on the skin; THREE things s/he can hear; TWO things she/he can smell; and ONE thing s/he can taste.

Other exercises include:

  1. Spritz your face (with eyes closed), neck, arms and hands with a fine water mister.
  2. Put your feet firmly on the ground.

Screening tool to identify victims of Human Trafficking

The landmark Trafficking Victims Protection Act made trafficking in persons a federal crime in 2000, but the greatest obstacle to rescuing victims of human trafficking is identifying them. To make identifying these people easier—and subsequently, getting them the services and support they need while also generating evidence against their traffickers—Vera created a screening tool to be used by victim service providers and law enforcement when faced with someone who may be a victim of human trafficking.

Advocating to Protect Unaccompanied Children in Your Community

This webinar, by the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC), addresses advocacy on behalf of unaccompanied children residing with sponsors and relatives across the United States as they await their immigration hearings. Panelists provide updates on where the children are living, their impact on local communities, and steps you can take to welcome them.

Substance Abuse and the Torture Survivor Experience

This webinar, presented by the National Partnership for Community Training, features Dr. Eric Wagner and Dr. Richard Mollica.

The varying degrees of trauma experienced by refugees and torture survivors can have physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral effects. In order to cope, forget, or ignore the impact of violent conflict, flight, resettlement, and adjustment some refugees and torture survivors may turn to substance use.

Slides are available here.

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