Blog

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Watch video: Fighting Ebola, Street by Street

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:

http://nyti.ms/1yH6W8a

First Community Preview Screening of CAREgivers film!

May 8th, 2015

Our first community preview screening occurred this week and was co-hosted by ARTWELL and the Health Federation of Philadelphia. It was very gratifying after 4 years of creative work to screen the film and to receive feedback from the audience, including these moving responses.
“An incredibly important and moving film. Anyone who works as a caregiver, service provider, or helper should watch this.” Meghan, child advocate
“…wonderful, powerful, haunting, honest, TRUE…” Lara Krawchuk, MSW, LCSW, MPH, Professor and trainer
“This was an outstanding and beautiful film. Thank you for making it. I did not realize how much it would affect me, particularly how little I think about my own experience of this work.” Heather Tuckman, PsyD, professor

Our second community screening occurs tomorrow at the HIWAY Theater of Jenkintown, PA.

Announcing our new film title and first community “preview” screenings!!

March 30th, 2015

We are excited to announce the new title of our documentary: “Portraits of Professional CAREgivers: Their Passion. Their Pain.”

Also we invite you to attend either of two initial community screenings, if you’re able, which will provide an opportunity for feedback and questions:

May 5 at 2:00 p.m. at ARTWELL, 100 W. Oxford Street,Phila. Pa 19122 (hosted by ARTWELL and the Philadelphia Health Federation–see www.theartwell.org )

May 9 at 9:50 a.m. at Hiway Theater, Jenkintown PA (see special events at www.Hiwaytheater.net)

We are thrilled to also be receiving screening invitations to film festivals and major conferences for this fall, when our official premiere will also occur.

Stay tuned for more exciting news!

Kudos to the “Stand up for Social Work” campaign in the UK!

March 30th, 2015

Kudos to the United Kingdom’s fascinating campaign: STAND UP FOR SOCIAL WORK, which states:

http://www.communitycare.co.uk/stand-social-work-2015/

“Community Care is re-launching its popular Stand up for Social Work campaign to raise the profile of social work … (in the UK) … in the face of budget cuts combined with huge demand.
We need to showcase the inspiring work that is being done every day by social workers but we also need greater transparency about the impact of budget cuts and the huge increases in demand seen over the last few years. The toll this is taking on dedicated and skilled professionals cannot be ignored if service users are to stay safe.
We believe that standing up for social work means three things:
Taking pride in the great work you do and talking about it to inspire others
Being honest about the challenges you face
Giving you the support you need to protect vulnerable people”

One section of the site provides a comprehensive list of 100 ways to support social work, which involve systemic changes, political outreach, and personal/ group self-care. Here are a few examples from their site:

“As a social worker
Find one positive thing you have achieved each day and tell somebody about it – a spouse, friend, family member or colleague. It will create a ripple effect of positive stories…

Tell Community Care about an example of where you have changed somebody’s life or made a difference by emailing us at CommunityCare@rbi.co.uk.

Use our letter templates on this site to send letters urging your local newspaper, MP and/or councillors to stand up for social work.. .

Take a course in mindfulness as a means of preventing stress or monitoring the effects of stress on your own body…

Monitor your own emotional responses to situations. Write it down if needed but even if it’s just in your head, ensure that you’re aware that you have a knot in your stomach and
what the knot might mean – are you anxious, nervous, excited, scared? Think through why your body is reacting this way. How could you change this or how could you better cope with it?

Don’t accept violence or intimidation – report incidents where you feel unsafe at work. This puts your organisation under an obligation to protect staff…”

“Crisis Hotline–Veterans Press 1″

February 26th, 2015

Delighted to see this year’s Oscar for best short documentary awarded to HBO’s “Crisis Hotline–Veterans Press 1″. We hope that this highly acclaimed film will bring attention to the therapeutic and social needs of veterans. In addition we hope that it will stimulate conversations about how to recognize and support the fine work of hotline professionals in many areas of service. See also: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2015/02/23/documentary-about-va-crisis-hotline-was-among-oscar-winners/

Resource for addressing workplace related stress and suicide

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.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=u-mDvJIU9RI

Check out CODE 9 about Police Officers and PTSD

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.

Great Timing for Thanksgiving and the Holidays!

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!

Compassion Fatigue in Caring for Animals

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.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/act-veterinarians-cracking-under-pressure-of-overwork-poor-pay-and-reduced-numbers-20141122-11rt3q.html

“ACT veterinarians cracking under pressure of overwork, poor pay and reduced numbers
www.smh.com.au
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…”

Courage, compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue in Liberia as professionals care for Ebola patients

November 4th, 2014

Many examples of courage, of compassion satisfaction and secondary trauma. Check out this NY Times front page article and photos:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/10/31/world/africa/photos-of-workers-and-survivors-braving-ebola-at-a-clinic-in-liberia.html?ref=world&_r=0

Braving Ebola
www.nytimes.com
The men and women of one Ebola clinic in rural Liberia reflect on life inside the gates.

Hospital ER Staff-Experiencing STS and Compassion Satisfaction

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:
http://www.theday.com/article/20141102/NWS01/311029941