Welcome to a new feature from the Family Assistance Foundation, Higher Resources,
and Aviem! Twice a month, we will release a Wednesday Wisdom column to provide
information to all who wish to learn from our years of research-based training.
We have found that a totally integrated response to survivors of traumatic stress
involves both compassion (heart) and thoughtful leadership (head). If you are on
the mailing list for our newsletters and other mailings, you can expect to receive
Wednesday Wisdom on alternating weeks. We thank you for your interest
in these brief, yet informative, lessons.
"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched,
they must be felt with the heart." – Helen Keller
Compassion — feeling for others, and treating them the way we would want to be
treated — is an important tenant in assisting survivors of traumatic loss. Inviting the
people most deeply affected by a tragedy to speak in classes, or showing their
stories on video, is one of the most effective ways to evoke compassion in trainees.
It also goes a long way in helping family assistance responders remember that
showing “heart” allows survivors to connect with them and the company, and
positively influences long-term healing for both.
“If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.” – Benjamin Franklin
Part of offering a compassionate response also means that an organization has the
proper structure in place to support those who are serving the survivors. When we
deploy well-trained Care Team members, there must also be a plan in place that
ensures that they have proper leadership, information, guidance, and resources.
This involves, in part, proper planning and practice via drills and exercises on an on-
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