Self-Help / Wellbeing Training Series

Confronting Trauma and Administering Self-Care for Humanitarian Personnel

Self-mastery is about taking whatever life throws at you and using it to change yourself, making yourself stronger and more resilient to life’s challenges.

Strategic Edge is a social enterprise (non-profit company) that cares about your safety and security as humanitarian staff and NGO workers, particularly in hostile environments. Part of staff safety is embedded in the ability for self-care and stress management. When staff is affected by a traumatic or life-changing incident, in addition to their own coping mechanisms, they must also have access to psychological first aid, counselling, and healing resources within the organization, family, and close social ties. This course aims to help you build up those resources, starting from within yourself and seeking them from supportive structures around. The course is delivered using presentations, discussions, dilemma exercises, and case studies.

This course is endorsed by the Center for Education and Research on Humanitarian Action (CERAH-Genevé) of the University of Geneva, Switzerland. The contents are guided by the University of Wisconsin in Madison. The instructor, Edessa Ramos, is a security professional and certified Trauma and Healing Counsellor. Her background includes trauma counselling and frontline psychological first aid to vulnerable populations during the 2017-2018 military operations in Mosul. She is currently trainer and trauma supervisor at the Mosul Support Center for Women and Children, operated by AMALNA Foundation, an NGO she co-founded in Iraq. She also lectured at CERAH-University of Geneva.


  • Sources of stress that can be anticipated in humanitarian work at individual, team, and organizational levels;
  • Why psychological self-care for humanitarians?
  • Stress Indicators: how to recognize the signs and effects of stress on yourself, your colleagues, and your teams;
  • How to manage and cope with stress within the NGO setting;
  • Working through dilemmas in the course of humanitarian response work;
  • Balancing community needs with personal capacity and sacrifice;
  • Managing expectations and confronting frustrations;
  • Relationship with Self: acknowledging doubts, uncertainties and fears within;
  • The Stages of Healing / Recovery;
  • Psychological first aid for yourself and your team.

ON-SITE Course in Kurdistan, Iraq : October 3, 2020, women only

Fee: $80, payable on training day

Includes: instructor, venue, course materials, certificate
Extra cost: morning tea and lunch buffet at $19

Time: 09.00 – 16.00 (inc. lunch break) 
Maximum class size: 10
Venue: Ainkawa Royal Hotel, Erbil, where COVID-19 measures are strictly in place.

ONLINE Course : virtual classes on Zoom (Webinar format)

Choose one of the following dates:
October 10, 2020
November 21, 2020
December 5, 2020
Time: 11.00 – 18.00
Time Zone: (GMT+03:00 Baghdad)

Fee: $40, payable via Paypal or credit card.

– completion certificate
– PDF copy of the presentations that enable you to train others in your organization
– discounted access to our Online Academy where more self-study courses are available on this and other topics in humanitarian safety and security. For more info on the Online Academy, visit: You will also find free bonus material.

The Zoom link and meeting Passcode will be sent upon receipt of your payment.

Class size will be limited to 30 participants in order to ensure effective participation. So please register early.

Register at:

The proceeds from these courses support Amalna Foundation in Iraq, where we provide mental health support to war-affected women and children. (

Strategic Edge helps fund

AMALNA Foundation for Community Building, Mosul, Iraq

Your instructors

We are specialists in counselling and psychosocial support, humanitarian action, human rights, and NGO safety/security.

Your organizers

Strategic Edge is a social enterprise (non-profit company) that cares about your safety and security as humanitarian staff and NGO workers, particularly in hostile environments.