October 17th, 2014
Ben C. Solomon has created a remarkable short video about an ambulance medic in Monrovia, Liberia, who is with others doing heroic work to try and save victims of Ebola. We experience in his video the secondary trauma of this dedicated medic and an awareness of the personal risks he is undertaking physically and emotionally.
Applause to Ben C. Solomon for this fine short documentary which can be viewed at:
January 28th, 2015
Another great resource that addresses workplace related stress and suicide is the Carson J. Spenser Foundation at www.carsonjspenser.org . It was a privilege to talk a few weeks ago with CEO Sally Spenser about some of the highly creative and supportive programming her organization provides. Sally and her team have also produced a number of training videos. See for example this short that addresses a pattern of suicides among police officers, and which emphasizes the importance of supportive treatment both within and beyond police departments.
January 28th, 2015
Please check out the trailer for CODE 9, a documentary by Director / Producer Deborah Ortiz
It was a real pleasure talking recently with Deborah about her life and experiences which have led up to the development of this fascinating film, CODE 9. Like CAREGIVERS film, it will take the public behind the scenes into the emotional lives of our public servants and the risks they and their families and loved ones at times encounter. While CAREGIVERS focuses upon identifying and coping with secondary trauma that may be experienced by a range of professional caregivers (therapists, hospice personnel, child welfare workers, first responders, police officers, firefighters, etc.) the focus of CODE 9 is upon police officers and their risks of experiencing PTSD which can lead some officers to turn on themselves and to complete suicide. We at CAREGIVERS are delighted to support the efforts and success of this film. We look forward to partnering in various ways this year.
December 9th, 2014
CAREgivers film project is very pleased to have received grants/ donations this fall from The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance/ PA Council of the Arts, Philadelphia Electric Company, The Scattergood Foundation, and the CHG Charitable Trust. We are appreciative of this public recognition of our work and for the generous donations of a number of individuals as well during the fall season! Our gratitude and thanksgiving to all!
November 24th, 2014
Compassion fatigue can occur in many settings where thoughtful care is provided, whether to human patients or to animals. The following compelling article describes how CF is experienced in the context of veterinary services in Australia and elsewhere.
“ACT veterinarians cracking under pressure of overwork, poor pay and reduced numbers
After two attempted suicides in his veterinary clinic, Damien Solley knows first hand mental health problems come hand-in-hand with working in the veterinarian…”
November 4th, 2014
Many examples of courage, of compassion satisfaction and secondary trauma. Check out this NY Times front page article and photos:
The men and women of one Ebola clinic in rural Liberia reflect on life inside the gates.
November 3rd, 2014
What is the experience of hospital emergency room personnel to the ongoing medical treatment they provide to trauma victims? The following very thoughtful article describes what CAREgivers film addresses as “secondary trauma” AND “compassion satisfaction”. Please let us know your response to this article from:
September 24th, 2014
Be sure to listen to Dr. Dan Gottlieb’s discussion “Voices in the Family” with 3 international experts on the topic of “contagious stress”. New studies about contagious stress would seem to resonate with our film’s depiction of “secondary traumatic stress” which is experienced by caregivers, in as much as empathy is the vehicle by which any human being can relate to and may absorb the stress of others for whom s/he cares. Dr. Gottlieb introduces the program topic and his guests with the following statement (and the link to the podcast follows):
“We all talk about how stress is contagious, wondering if we can get it from that stressed-out co-worker. But did we ever guess we could get it from a TV monitor? A new study says yes, and has found proof that watching someone else under stress can cause stress in you. We’ll talk to the author of that study, Dr. Veronika Engert, from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, about her findings. We’ll also be speaking with Dr. Tony Buchanan of the Cognitive Neuroscience of Stress Lab from the Psychology Department of Saint Louis University about his study on secondhand stress; and Dr. Michael Baime, head of the Penn Program for Mindfulness.” – Listen to the podcast at: http://whyy.org/cms/voicesinthefamily/contagious-stress-part-2-from-adult-to-adult/#sthash.Zu2yX8uC.dpuf
September 1st, 2014
How often does an author understand and depict primary and/or secondary traumatic stress of caregivers or public servants in literature or the media? Perhaps the public servants, including the cops and detectives, whom we like best are the ones whose human side are convincingly depicted. Following is a compelling quote from Henning Mankell’s novel SIDE-TRACKED (pg. 29) which depicts the inner traumatic experience of fictitious detective and policeman, Kurt Wallander, after he tries unsuccessfully to rescue a suicidal teen-ager from a horrible act of self immolation:
“Afterwards Wallander would remember the burning girl…the way you remember…a distant nightmare. If he appeared to maintain at least an outward sense of calm for the rest of the evening, later he could recall nothing but trivial details….But they (his colleagues) couldn’t see through the shield he had set up to protect himself. Inside him there was devastation, like a house that had collapsed. He got back to his flat just after 2 a.m. Only then, when he sat down on his sofa…did the shield crumble. He poured himself a glass of whisky…and he cried like a baby. The girl had been a child. She reminded him of his own daughter…During his years as a policeman he had learned to be prepared for whatever might await him…Somehow he had learned to endure what he saw and push it aside. But he couldn’t when there were children or young people involved. Then he was as vulnerable as when he was first a policeman. He knew that many of his colleagues reacted the same way…”
July 29th, 2014
Among the wide variety of professionals who provide care to traumatized persons are our firefighters. CAREgivers film which is in post production addresses the emotional and sometimes serious physical impacts upon this group in interviews with Philadelphia’s former Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers and with officers and staff of the Fire Academy. A related article of interest by Erin McCarthy appears in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer. You may read it at: