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TODAY news for Thursday, January 26, 2006

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LLU trauma team helps heal wounds of the heart

International Behavioral Health Trauma Team members on stage during vespers
Members of the International Behavioral Health Trauma Team gather on stage during the Centennial Alumni Vespers in November 2005 held in Drayson Center.
Keeping a bag packed in case a last minute trauma team trip arises, Cheryl Simpson, PhD, professor of counseling and family sciences, is always ready just like the other members. The International Behavioral Health Trauma Team (IBHTT) helps heal wounds of the heart through its interdisciplinary team of mental health professionals—psychiatrists, social workers, psychologists, and marriage and family therapists.

“It’s the greatest blessing to go out and connect with the world community with a purpose to relieve human suffering,” shares Dr. Simpson.

IBHTT provides consultation and assessment; crisis intervention and psychological debriefing; and didactic education. In 1995, there was a request for assistance to caregivers in Bosnia and Croatia. Four years later, IBHTT became a f
William Britt, PhD providing care in Sri Lanka
William Britt, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry, School of Medicine, provides care to Sri Lanka tsunami survivors.
ormal representative of LLU.

As of today, the trauma team has provided clinical services and training in more than 15 countries: Cuba, Guam, Nicaragua, Honduras, Mexico, Columbia, Venezuela, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia, and the United States.

“I’ve found that a common experience crosses all cultures and religion,” says William Murdoch, MD, chair of the department of psychiatry, SM, and medical director of the Behavioral Medicine Center. “It doesn’t matter what they look like or where they are from, we share common threads and bonds.”

Most recently the team has helped sooth the hearts of those affected by Hurricane Katrina, the Venezuela floods in 2005, the December 2004 tsunami, and the 2004 floods in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

“The trips are a spiritual walk,” expresses Beverly Buckles, DSW, chair of the department of social work and social ecology. “The people we help see us as genuinely bringing the love of the Lord with us, and that’s extremely important to us.”

By Patricia Thio

TODAY news for Thursday, January 26, 2006