McLean Hospital Launches Free Course Focused on Global Impacts of Trauma

July 8, 2022

Psychological trauma knows no boundaries: it affects people of every background, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, and gender. The impact on people around the globe is significant. According to a 2016 study, over 70% of those surveyed across six continents have experienced a traumatic event.

McLean Hospital is pleased to offer this course aimed at dispelling long held misconceptions about assessing and treating emotional trauma. Experts from around the world will share the latest updates in the field, including delivering care in low resource settings and exploring special populations such as the unique experiences of refugees and displaced persons.

“We are thrilled to offer this virtual event to professionals from around the world, providing up-to-date clinically useful information about trauma assessment and treatment, as well as access to educational resources for health professionals, educators, and others,” said Scott J. O’Brien, director of Education Outreach for McLean and co-director of the course.

According to Alaptagin (Al) Khan, MBBS, FRSPH, co-director of the course whose work at McLean, the Red Crescent, and UNICEF has focused on trauma, noted that the training he and O’Brien have developed is appropriate for all professionals, including clinicians, educators, and individuals who work with government and non-government organizations.

“We have built this course so that attendees can leave being able to identify signs of trauma and related disorders in adults, young adults, and children, understand how trauma disorders are currently affecting displaced persons or refugees from low- and middle-income countries, and learn about low-cost, evidence-based interventions that are available to help people,” said Khan.

Now Available On Demand

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This course is available to watch online. Continuing education credits are available for various disciplines for a small administrative fee.

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While trauma doesn’t always directly lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other trauma-related disorders, it is beneficial for those who have witnessed or experienced trauma—as well as their loved ones—to know the signs and symptoms of PTSD, ways to treat it, and how to seek help.

Despite its more common association with soldiers returning from combat situations and the horrors of war, PTSD is a condition that can apply to anyone who has witnessed or experienced traumatic, life-threatening, or life-changing events.

Khan noted that trauma can affect anyone and that it can have an impact on individuals and their families in many different ways.

“When a strong emotional response to an extremely stressful or disturbing event impairs a person’s ability to cope, it’s often considered to be traumatic,” said Khan.

“Trauma can vary in severity and impact—in fact, approximately one in three people who experience severe trauma also experience PTSD.”

Among the topics being covered in this training is trauma experienced by individuals who live through and/or flee civil unrest and conflicts.

“Across the world, over 65 million people are currently displaced by war, conflict, or persecution. We wanted to provide an opportunity to learn together and discuss how this is impacting the mental health of people who have been displaced and what we can do to be better informed and to provide appropriate responses,” said O’Brien.

“If we want to aim to help the millions of people who have been displaced, we must deepen our understanding of mental health.”

Among the speakers and topics highlighted in the Global Impacts of Trauma course:

  • McLean’s Sophia Maurasse, MD, medical director, 3East Girls Intensive and Step-Down Programs, will present ;“Recognizing Trauma in Adults and Young People”
  • Khan will address “A Look at Trauma in the United States and Around the World”
  • Abdul Wahab Yousafzai, MBBS, FCPS, Shifa International Hospital, Islamabad, will provide “Lessons Learned From Working With Displaced Youth”
  • Benjamin Iffland, PhD, Bielefeld University, will discuss low-cost solutions, including Narrative Exposure Therapy
  • Linda Grabbe, PhD, APRN-BC, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, and Elaine Miller-Karas, MSW, LCSW, Trauma Resource Institute, will offer an overview of the Community Resiliency Model

Learn more about the course at

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