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Breaking the trauma in 400 children in Puerto Rico

by Centro de Fortalecimiento Familiar de Puerto Rico, Inc. ESCAPE
Breaking the trauma in 400 children in Puerto Rico
Breaking the trauma in 400 children in Puerto Rico
Breaking the trauma in 400 children in Puerto Rico
Breaking the trauma in 400 children in Puerto Rico
Breaking the trauma in 400 children in Puerto Rico
Breaking the trauma in 400 children in Puerto Rico
Breaking the trauma in 400 children in Puerto Rico
Breaking the trauma in 400 children in Puerto Rico

ESCAPE continue its offering of specialized services to children and their families in Puerto Rico to address and prevent post-traumatic stress disorders resulting from Hurricane Maria to minimize the occurrence of child abuse and family violence.

Our people, who are still recovering from Hurricane Maria two years ago, then faced from January to March 2020 the challenge of earthquakes that shook our country with over 1,500 displaced families, now are facing an even more serious disaster with the coronavirus pandemic.

During this period, services have expanded to serve not only those affected by the passage of hurricanes, but also those emotionally affected by the earthquakes of January and which continue to the present, and more recently those affected by the threat of the coronavirus. All these disasters have affected and continue to affect families emotionally, increasing the risk of violence and child abuse.

It is important to recognize that those affected by the passage of hurricanes are the same as those affected by earthquakes and now by the coronavirus pandemic. Too many stressors in a period of two and a half years that exponentially may increase the risk of domestic violence and child abuse.

An unintended consequence for children and adults living in abusive homes is that because of the enforced lockdown (to prevent coronavirus spread), they will have to spend more time with their abuser - and thus be at a heightened risk of further abuse. Sadly, there could be scenarios in which girls and boys will be abused for an unforeseeable length of time.

Due to the above, access to free mental health services will be more important than ever on the Island. Thank you for supporting ESCAPE to make this service possible.

To this date, 448 persons have received psychological support, prevention and group support services. After the earthquakes that affected the island, the request for individual and family psychological services increased. People who were fragile after the hurricanes passage, broke due to the continuous anxiety of "another earthquake" and recently by the possibility of being infected or the spread of the coronavirus. Among all the psychological interventions identified during this period, anxiety stands out.

It is important to highlight that to offer support services to a greater number of people, the workshop "They moved the floor, what do I do?" (Me movieron el piso, ¿qué hago?), was held. This workshop led by the psychologist was offered on 10 occasions in different towns of the Island. It offered a safe space for children and adults to ventilate their emotions, experiences and fears, and to learn strategies for the healthy management of their emotions to minimize trauma.

We will continue to offer psychological and support services and modify them to perform them remotely so that we can continue to serve as many people as possible even during quarantine and lockdown.

We hope everyone who reads this, and their families are safe.

Thanks again for the support!

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ESCAPE continue its offering of specialized services to children and their families in Puerto Rico to address and prevent post-traumatic stress disorders resulting from Hurricane Maria to minimize the occurrence of child abuse and family violence.

To this date, 129 persons have received psychological, support and prevention services. Among the psychological interventions identified during this period, anxiety stands out. In children, anxiety has mostly been related to separation of their main attachment figures either by moving to the United States or death. In addition, some children have presented symptomatology consistent with autism spectrum disorder.

What worries the team the most is the increase in participants with suicidal ideations, including children under 15. Adults and children who had a fragile mental health before the hurricane, have deteriorated during the past two years. This has caused crises that include divorces, domestic violence, others.

To increase the scope of the services, a collaboration agreement with the Carlos Albizu University was formalized to add graduate level psychologists in training to the team.

During this quarter, October to December, the following activities were implemented as part of the Project:

-       New community alliances were formalized

-       Screening, assessment and intake process continued

-       Psychological and case management services were provided including support, coordination of services and follow-up

Thanks again for the support!

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ESCAPE continue its offering of specialized services to children and their families in Puerto Rico to address and prevent post-traumatic stress disorders resulting from Hurricane Maria to minimize the occurrence of child abuse and family violence.

To this date, 38 persons have received psychological and support services. Of these 80% are females. There have been cases of pre-existing mental health conditions as depression, anxiety and stress that worsened after the beginning of hurricane season (2019). Other cases have been of parents looking for tools and support to handle diagnoses of their children, which after the hurricane worsened as: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, others.

During this quarter, July to September, the following activities were implemented as part of the Project:

-       Project team was trained (Psychologist and Service Coordinator)

-       Documents and procedures related to the project were finished

-       Community alliances was formalized

-       Marketing and social marketing materials and strategies were developed and disseminated

-       Screening, assessment and intake process initiated

-       Psychological and case management services were provided including support, coordination of services and follow-up

Thanks again for the support!

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Thanks again for the support!

It’s important for ESCAPE to be able to provide specialized services to children and their families in Puerto Rico to address and prevent post-traumatic stress disorders resulting from Hurricane Maria and to minimize the occurrence of child abuse and family violence. At first, with the initial $50,000 donation, the specialized professionals will provide psychosocial services, with an emphasis in skills building, crisis intervention and service coordination, to 200 children and their families in the metropolitan area.

The $50,000 donation was disbursed on April 19, 2019. From April 20 to June 30 the organization implement 60% of the first two phases of the project: planning and start up period. In these phases the project team was recruited and formed, resources were brought together, and the plan was revised.

During the next quarter (July to September) the following activities will be implemented as part of the Project:

 -      Project team will be trained

-       Documents and procedures related to the project will be finished

-       Community alliances will be formalized

-       Marketing and social marketing materials and strategies will be developed and disseminated

-       Screening, assessment and intake process will initiate

-       Psychological and case management services will be provided including support and follow-up

-       Data collection will initiate

-       Constant program monitoring and support through case discussions and supervision will be developed

Thanks again for making it possible to offer, for free, such an important mental health service on the island.

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Organization Information

Centro de Fortalecimiento Familiar de Puerto Rico, Inc. ESCAPE

Location: San Juan - Puerto Rico
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @ESCAPEpr
Project Leader:
Yadira Pizarro
San Juan, Puerto Rico

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