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Conferences

The Peter C. Alderman Pan-Africa Conference on Psychotrauma is the region’s only multi-disciplinary conference on psychological trauma in war-affected societies. Designed for health care professionals, postgraduate students, University faculty and representatives from mental health-related NGOs in Africa, the conference features plenary sessions, workshops and trainings by some of the world’s foremost experts in global mental health. Past conferences have been held in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.

The proceedings are published in The African Journal of Traumatic Stress, the first peer review journal of its kind, underwritten by PCAF and edited by members of the department of psychiatry of Makerere University.

Fifth Annual PCAF Pan-African Psychotrauma Conference
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: July 16–20, 2012

Funded and organized by PCAF in collaboration with the Mental Health Association of Tanzania, the 2012 theme was Psychotrauma and Refugees in Africa. Four hundred and seventy-five mental health professionals from twenty countries attended the conference, which featured plenary speakers Dr. Ricardo Araya of the University of Bristol, Dr. Theresa Betancourt of the Harvard School of Public Health, Dr. Lucie Cluver of University of Oxford, Dr. David Mohr of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Dr. Hawthorne Smith of the NYU/Bellevue Program for Survivors of Torture.

Fourth Annual PCAF Pan-African Psychotrauma Conference
Nairobi, Kenya: July 11–15, 2011

Funded and organized by PCAF in collaboration with the Africa Mental Health Foundation (AMHF), the 2011 theme was Mental Health Policy and Practice on Psychotrauma: African Solutions to African Problems. Featured speakers included Dr. Pamela Collins of the National Institute for Mental Health; Dr. Vikram Patel of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Dr. Ricardo Araya of University of Bristol; and Dr. Allen Keller NYU/Bellevue Program for Survivors of Torture.


Trainings

The Master Class, created in partnership with the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma (HPRT), provides local caregivers in post-conflict countries with the tools to treat the emotional wounds of victims of terrorism and mass violence. PCAF has trained Masters from Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Chile, Haiti, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Macedonia, Srpska, Spain, Rwanda and Uganda.
Masters are trained by an international faculty with expertise in the care of traumatized populations.
Masters translate the HPRT tool kit and make it culturally appropriate for their victimized populations.
Over 100,000 victims have been treated by Foundation-trained personnel.
By training the trainers, PCAF has built capacity in 22 post-conflict countries on five continents.
By returning victims to purposeful lives, these caregivers not only improve the social, political and economic welfare of their communities, but also halt the progression of traumatic depression from generation to generation.


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"Michael," a formerly abducted child soldier, came to the Gulu Clinic with flashbacks and severe insomnia. He said he was being pursued by a spirit. For six years Michael (not his real name) had been forced to fight in one of the cruelest rebel groups on earth — the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda. He was instructed to murder and in each case was forced to drink the victim's blood to "internalize" him. Shortly after killing his last victim, he was rescued by government troops and returned home, not having the opportunity to ritualize the murder. This was the spirit that haunted him. Following therapy at the Peter C. Alderman Gulu Clinic, Michael is now productively in school.
©2012 Peter C. Alderman Foundation