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Aloha and Welcome to Resources for Behavioral Health Resilience!

This website provides information and resources to augment Alliance for Resiliency Training workshops, and to support the evaluation process of community-based programs by utilizing Strengths Enhancing Evaluation Research (SEER).

Alliance for Resiliency Training (ART) advances resilience, a vital process in the balance of wellbeing, through collaborative clinical training and consultation with community service providers involved in the healing and recovery of traumatized children and families.

Bringing together local best-practices and relevant evidence-based interventions, ART works with direct-service providers to shape and deliver clinical training suited to place-based, cultural needs.

Strengths Enhancing Evaluation Research (SEER) was developed for both community-based program personnel (insiders) and researchers (guests/outsiders). SEER research practices acknowledge and honor indigenous ways of knowing and the integrity of cultural practices. SEER provides pathways to strengthening community-based programs through collaborative research. It suggests flexible protocols of engagement, data collection, analysis and report of findings for use by both service providers and evaluators. The website resources include: The SEER informational video link; the SEER Handbook, and examples of completed research.

When ART or SEER consultants are invited to provide training or evaluation research, we are respectful guests, listening and learning about community needs and priorities. ART and SEER consultants are based in Honolulu, Hawai`i.

Resilience: Psychological resilience is the ability to cope with and rebound from trauma and adversity. Resilience is understood as a process, rather than a personal trait. Traditional cultures frequently ascribe meaning to trauma and have established ways members may progress toward healing. ART collaborates with local service providers to sustain successful practices, and when appropriate, discover how evidence-based practices may strengthen their resilience strengthening efforts.

Identifying Effects, Meaning and Treatments: The beginning of a journey
A difficult and ongoing task is accurately assessing the complexity and effects of trauma, in order to identify appropriate methods to alleviate and treat suffering. Sources of trauma that impact wellbeing may include: Interpersonal and familial abuse and violence, poverty, historic oppression and traumatization of ethnic and indigenous people, wars, natural and man-made disasters, and other crises. One identification process which official recognizes the effects of trauma, albeit limited in cultural scope, is the medical diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). ART uses PTSD as a point of reference, acknowledging the limitations of culture-specific conceptualizations.

PTSD: According to the American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-DMS-IV-TR, PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which there was potential for or actual occurrence of grave physical harm (APA, 2000). PTSD is prevalent in approximately 3.5% of the US adult population (NIMH, 2012). Moreover, 36.6% of these cases (1.3% of the US population) are classified as severe.

Children & Adolescents: In the U.S., approximately 25% of children and adolescents experience at least one traumatic event by age 16. These children are at higher risk for substance abuse and behavioral health issues later in life. The lifetime prevalence of PTSD for children 13-18 years of age is 4% or approximately, 1,708,000 adolescents (NIMH, 2012). The lifetime prevalence of “severe” PTSD for this age group is 1.4% (NIMH, 2012). Worldwide, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reports millions of children experience child labor, trafficking, sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation/cutting, child marriage and other forms of trauma (UNICEF, 2012).

Combat PTSD: The US Military Casualty Statistics: Operation New Dawn, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom report (Congressional Research Service, 2010) states a total of 88,719 (deployed and non-deployed) diagnosed cases of PTSD in all services as of September 7, 2010. However, US Veterans Administration reports there are more than 400,000 untreated cases of PTSD among veterans. PTSD-related and major depression-related costs could range from $4 billion to $5.2 billion over two years (Rand Report, 2009). Veterans with PTSD are more likely to have alcohol abuse and dependence and report higher rates of domestic violence (2008 Rand Study; Jacobsen, Southwick and Kosten, 2001; Caroll et al, 1985 in DeMossNews.com).