Professional Development Conference/Fall 2010/Presentation Materials/Victims of Torture

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Victims of Torture

C2: Serving Victims of War, Torture and Group Violence: Useful Mental Health Practices (French)

The key objective of the workshop is to enhance the capacity of workers and volunteers in the settlement service sector to address and deal with mental health issues presented by the individuals and communities they serve who come from countries facing war and/or have been victims of torture or any kind of violence to better serve them, help them making timely referrals to appropriate services. After attending the workshop, participants are expected to have:

  • Increased understanding of the needs of clients coming from countries facing war/or having been victims of torture and organized violence;
  • Increased knowledge and skills to deal with these clients and give them the appropriate services;
  • Increased awareness and knowledge of the early prevention measures to address mental health issues;
  • A clearer understanding of the role that spirituality plays in the mental health and well-being of immigrants and refugees in their adptation process;
  • An overview of community resources dealing with the issue of torture and war victims;
  • Increased understanding of the concept of ‘community of practices’ and "best practices".

Alain Dobi is currently Coordinator of the Francophone Immigration Network system of the Centre-South-West region of Ontario. The main goal of the Network is to provide support to the Steering and Sub-steering Committees of CIC for Francophone Minority Communities concerning the implementation of CIC’s five objectives as defined in the Strategic Plan. This Strategic plan aims at fostering immigration within the Francophone minority communities Mr Dobi holds a Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Social Work from Université Laval in Quebec. He has also completed coursework at ENAP (National Institute of Public Administration) in Quebec. In terms of work experience, he was the Coordinator of the social integration organization "Communauté Agapè" in Québec from 2003 to 2004. Before his current position, he has been a Mental Health Counsellor for the Francophone health center “Centre de santé Communautaire Hamilton/Niagara”. There he was involved in the project “Accès”, a research project conducted jointly with Wilfrid Laurier University. This project aimed at identifying the best mental health practices to service war, torture and group violence victims.

Bonaventure Otshudi is the coordinator of the settlement and integration services for Francophone immigrants at the centre de santé communautaire Hamilton Niagara. He has been working in the immigration and refugees field for more than 10 years. He studied social sciences at the Université Laurentienne of Sudbury, from which he received a bachelor’s degree in economics. Bonaventure was the research agent for the project Accès, an intervention project for survivors of war, torture and organized violence.

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