Trauma Awareness and Psychosocial Support Training Manual.


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Trauma Awareness and Psychosocial Support Training Manual.

October 12, 2022

The Trauma Awareness and Psychosocial Support manual is meant to practically aid the peace and reconciliation process in South Sudan through trainings and community interventions conducted by UNDP’s Psychosocial Support Facilitators and Community Volunteer Counselors. 

Historically and up to the present time, people in South Sudan have experienced high levels of violence, leading to tens of thousands of deaths and trauma-affected individuals. Millions of people have been internally displaced or are living in camps as refugees in foreign countries worldwide. While death and physical destruction caused by violence are immediately apparent, the psychological scars and trauma are less visible and often neglected; if not addressed, they can fuel further cycles of violence. 

Breaking these cycles of violence and the psychological stress and trauma they cause requires applying trauma-informed and resilience-focused approaches to change. Their use within a peacebuilding framework increases the possibility of transformational change in South Sudan, allowing the nation to move towards a more just and sustainable peace; and where development provides a higher quality of life. When the health and well-being of people are enhanced, their ability to contribute to rebuilding their communities and society is greatly improved. The training manual seeks to achieve this by engaging South Sudanese in their context in a manner that respects their value system regarding ‘wholeness’ - the integrative relationships between people, God, ancestors, and nature.

“Health is a state of complete well-being based on a way of living, conduct, and behavior in relation to others. It gives due respect to the person's dignity and links the person with God, ancestors, community, and environment.” - African worldview.

Purpose and Objective of the Manual

The training manual acts as a guide for Psychosocial Facilitators to conduct a five-day training for Community Volunteer Counselors. The emphasis is on psychosocial support, not clinical healing, which is the domain of professional psychiatrists and psychologists. The manual is also a resource from which other trainings, presentations, and interventions about trauma awareness, healing and resilience, peacebuilding and related topics can be developed.

The manual explains trauma awareness, resilience and peacebuilding and how they can help in the recovery and healing process of individuals and communities in South Sudan. It also highlights their critical role in restoring the dignity and hope of the South Sudanese people—and by extension, help prevent future conflicts.

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