Trauma First Aid Training
In light of experiences from past events of Commemoration of the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda where it was challenging to see persons in emotional crisis, the Peace Club of PIASS, in collaboration with CRASPD, held a Trauma First Aid Training for members of the Peace Club and students who are members of other students’ clubs ahead of the 2017 Commemoration period.
16 students, 10 males, and 6 females, from PIASS Peace Club, PIASS Students’ Union, Association des Étudiants Réscapés du Génocide (Genocide Survivors’ Student Organization) and Isooko student club participated and became “Mental Health Advisors”. The 5-day workshop was led by two Trauma Therapists, Dr. Joséphine Mukabera (Lecturer at PIASS) and Thérèze Uwitonze (Founder of Mental Health Dignity Foundation). After an introduction into the concepts of mental health and trauma, symptoms of emotional crisis, importance of self-care for trauma first aiders and differentiations between First Aid and Therapy, the training team guided participants through learning and practicing techniques to focus one’s mind and calm one’s spirit, as well as relaxation practices. These techniques that include working with the body and mind as well as our emotional brain were shown as helpful ways to deal with own tension, stress and emotional upsets as well as methods to support others when they are experiencing emotional crisis. Together with their trainers, the students did an excellent job supporting those who were suffering from emotional crisis during the 2017Genocide Commemoration event at PIASS.