Tree of Life conducts a complementary psychoeducation intervention, the Psychosocial Awareness and Coping Skills (PACS) workshop, for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), community leaders, and communities at large, including men, women and youth. The intervention was launched during our 2012 Impact Evaluation process. Like the Healing and Empowerment workshop, PACS also made an impressive positive impact in both reducing trauma levels, and in improving attitudes to community life.
Trauma is a major barrier to development. At an organisational level, PACS enables other CSOs to understand how unresolved trauma or distress is often a hindrance to the complete and successful achievement of their outcomes, thereby highlighting the need to include our trauma healing work as a parallel process to their work. To date several CSOs have successfully partnered with Tree of Life in order to provide much needed trauma healing and empowerment to their beneficiary constituencies.
PACS also builds awareness of the impact of stress on resilience and social cohesion and facilitates constructive, systematic dialogue at community level to undertake resolution, leading to peacebuilding and development. The PACS workshops have also enabled communities to identify those individuals within their community who are in need of a deeper healing process, such as the Tree of Life Healing and Empowerment workshop.
Tree of Life Zimbabwe community PACS workshops have created a healthy and safe space for communities to have meaningful dialogues regarding those areas that cause stress or discontent in their communities, as well as identify ways in which to cope as a family, community and as individuals.
The PACS workshop aims to enable participants to:
- identify ways of maintaining physical, psychological and emotional health at individual, family and community level.
- gain knowledge about the persistent effects of trauma and stress.
- help survivors better understand their own stress responses, and knowledge of coping strategies which provide a sense of control over these responses and reinforce own strengths, resources and coping skills.
- enhance and strengthen social support and resilience at family and community level.
- complete PACS workshop includes the following workshop sessions/circles:
- Workshop Introduction
- Effects and consequences of trauma
- Coping and failure to cope
- Helping others
- Building resilience and hope for the future