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President's Message
StressPoints
Date posted: 07/28/2022
Topic: International and Global

The relevance of ISTSS remains high during these troubling times when much of the news from around the world is that of trauma. Once considered outside of the range of normal human experience (DSM-III), it is now recognized that exposure to traumatic events is ubiquitous globally, making the work that ISTSS does even more critical. The Board of Directors recently concluded our mid-year board meeting where much of the focus was a thorough review of our Strategic Plan progress. This review process made one thing very clear: Despite our shared and individual challenges over the last few years, ISTSS members and leaders have remained steadfast in their pursuit of the ISTSS mission and Strategic Plan. I will take this opportunity to highlight some recent areas of progress. 

A Neglected Aspect of Refugee Relief Works: Secondary and Vicarious Traumatic Stress
Date posted: 05/2/2022
Topic: International and Global
With the number of refugees (about 80 million at present) increasing in the world recently, the need for refugee service providers (e.g., doctors, psychotherapists, lawyers, interpreters) to support this group and the workload of refugee service providers have also increased. Adverse effects of working with traumatized individuals on mental health are known. The most prominent effects are Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS) and Vicarious Traumatic Stress (VTS).
Global Perspectives: Lineages of a Psychological Understanding of Mourning ‎and Grief in China
StressPoints
Date posted: 05/4/2022
Topic: International and Global
Grief and mourning are expressed differently in every culture. However, research on bereaved populations has tended to be dominated by Western perspectives since Freud's (1917) Mourning and Melancholy. Drawing from more recent bodies of knowledge in clinical psychology and psychiatry, health professionals have shown a shift in direction and have included the assessment and diagnoses of specific states of grief. Specifically, professionals have regarded certain states of grief as disorders or requiring assistance, such as prolonged grief disorder found in the International Classification of Diseases 11th Revision (ICD-11; World Health Organization, 2020) and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition, text revision (DSM-5-TR; American Psychiatric Association, 2021). Furthermore, cultural differences in grief symptoms have been shown to exist as illustrated by a comparative study of Chinese- and German-speaking bereaved individuals (Stelzer et al., 2020).
Global Perspectives: Impact of COVID-19 on Mental Health in Zimbabwe: Tree of Life Experiences
StressPoints
Date posted: 03/31/2022
Topic: International and Global
Since the 30th of January, 2020, COVID-19 has been designated as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) by the World Health Organization (WHO) due to its unprecedented threat to global health. The lockdown measures and quarantines have altered peoples’ lives, resulting in reported mental health problems with severity anticipated to have a long-term impact. The pandemic is affecting economies at their core, generating an economic crisis with job losses resulting in increased poverty and inequalities at a global scale. Informal economy workers are particularly vulnerable because the majority lack social protection, access to quality health care, and protection against loss of income.
Clinician's Corner: PTSD Treatment Considerations for Asian Indians
StressPoints
Date posted: 01/27/2022
Topic: International and Global
The South Asian community includes individuals originating from the Indian sub-continent region (e.g., India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives). Asian Indians (i.e., individuals of Indian descent) are a subgroup of the South Asian community. This Asian Indian community reports experiences of several commonly occurring traumatic events, including natural disasters, interpersonal traumas (e.g., domestic violence), and racism-based traumas.1-5
President's Message
StressPoints
Date posted: 12/2/2021
Topic: International and Global
This is my final StressPoints column as ISTSS President, and I would like to highlight that serving in this role over the past year has been a privilege and an honor. I would like to also take this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude to all those who supported me in this (unexpected) role over the past year.
Global Perspectives: Like No Other: The Grief of COVID-19 ‎
StressPoints
Date posted: 09/30/2021
Topic: International and Global
Pre-COVID life seems like a distant past while the world adjusts to a new normal, or shall we say new normals. Early in March 2020, Scott Berinato wrote in the Harvard Business Review, “That Discomfort You’re Feeling is Grief”; little did we know of the extent of this grief. Adam Grant wrote in 2021 in The New York Times, “There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing.” While many gifted writers have tried to deconstruct the complex set of emotions we have been experiencing since early 2020, the world has only been progressively meeting more and more shades of one basic emotion: grief.
President's Message
StressPoints
Date posted: 09/24/2021
Topic: International and Global
While things are usually slow over the summer (at least in the Northern Hemisphere I should add), I am grateful that the various ISTSS committees and task forces have been working hard on proposing plans to implement recommendations stemming from our Membership Engagement Task Force and Data Committee which conducted the Membership Survey.
Research Methods: Collaborating Globally to Make Traumatic Stress Research Data More ‎‎“FAIR”
Date posted: 07/29/2021
Topic: International and Global
Editor’s Note: ISTSS is a founding partner in the Global Collaboration on Traumatic Stress

The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data stewardship state that data should be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR; Wilkinson et al 2016). In summary, the principles state that researchers should be able to find relevant data and datasets and have a clear means to gain (or request) access to those data, that data should be readable across various software systems (now and in the future), and that we should have enough information about specific variables and data collection methods to allow us to reuse those data. These principles are part of the growing global movement toward a more open and transparent science, across disciplines from astronomy to the social sciences. Being “FAIR” is not an all-or-nothing proposition; rather, FAIRness is a continuum. Making traumatic stress research data more FAIR can promote better science, enhance understanding of trauma impact and recovery, and ultimately benefit trauma-exposed individuals and communities around the world (Kassam-Adams & Olff, 2020). Recognizing the importance of these issues, the Global Collaboration on Traumatic Stress has undertaken FAIR data as its fifth “theme.”
President's Message
Date posted: 05/27/2021
Topic: International and Global
I am delighted to begin this column by highlighting the release on Earth Day of our ISTSS Briefing Paper on Global Climate Change and Trauma. This outstanding collective work describes how climate change increases the frequency and severity of traumatic events as well as associated posttraumatic mental health problems at the global level. Although this should be obvious, this paper serves as a good reminder that mitigating the effects of global climate change should be central to our mission as clinicians and researchers in general (Roberts & Godlee, 2007), and all the more as clinicians and researchers focused on traumatic stress in particular.
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