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UIC News Tips
University of Illinois at Chicago Office of Public Affairs (MC 288)
601 S. Morgan St., Chicago, IL 60607-7113, (312) 996-3456, www.uic.edu/depts/paff

July 14, 2000 Contact: Sharon Butler 312-355-2522; sbutler@uic.edu



In the wake of mass human catastrophes in places like Sierra Leone, Kosovo and East Timor, international experts in stress and trauma, typically from Western countries, rush to lend assistance. But how effective is their help? Critics suggest that their efforts to train local staff to respond to trauma-induced human suffering often meet with little success because their approach is insensitive to local values and long-term needs - a consequence of the lack of ethical or professional humanitarian guidelines for international trauma intervention training.

The UIC Department of Psychiatry, together with the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS), is hosting a special forum entitled "Exporting Training after Trauma: Questions and Concerns."


Panelists are leading international experts in trauma:

  • John Fairbank and Yael Danieli, the president and past president of ISTSS
  • Mark Van Ommeren, project director in Kathmandu, Nepal, Transcultural Psychosocial Organization
  • Jack Saul, head of the International Trauma Studies Program, New York University
  • Dr. Derrick Silove, director of the Psychiatry Research and Teaching Unit, University of New South Wales
  • Dr. Stevan Weine, associate professor of psychiatry and codirector of the UIC Project on Genocide, Psychiatry and Witnessing, University of Illinois at Chicago

Thursday, July 27
5 - 7 p.m.


UIC College of Nursing
845 S. Damen Ave., third floor lounge


Panelists are members of a taskforce on international trauma intervention training established by ISTSS and headed by Weine.

At present, Weine said, training efforts "impose Western-based models, ignoring the culture, history, organizations, capacities and deficits of the local people…. Even the notion that trauma yields psychopathology has been challenged."

ISTSS was founded in 1985 for professionals to share information about the effects of trauma. The forum is free and open to the public.

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