Because human trafficking is a public health issue
The HEAL Trafficking Direct Service Committee works to improve the clinical care for trafficked persons by providing opportunities for service providers to connect, access support, share information and promising practices, identify best practices, and expand the referral network.
Webinars on topics such as:
– “Complex Trauma and Human Trafficking”, presented by Dr. Elizabeth Hopper, Ph.D.
– “The Brain on Trauma: Physiological Cues to Understanding and Working With Trafficking Survivors”, presented by Dr. Naomi Azar, Ph.D.
– ‘Making Exploitation Visible: The Commercial Sexual Exploitation Identification Tool (CSE-IT)”, Presentedby WestCoast Children’s Clinic, Oakland, California.
Virtual Salon Conversations Series: The HEAL Direct Service community present their work/organization/program (20-30min), and raise topics/questions to be discussed during the remaining time (30-40min). These conversations are continued on the HEAL Trafficking Direct Service Listserv to engage wider participation and promote the benefits of this exchange to every individual. Examples:
– Dr. Anita Ravi, M.D., MPH, MSHP, spoke on the topic of ‘Bridging Medical and Mental Health Services.’ Dr. Ravi presented the PurpLE Clinic, and led a discussion to explore ways in which primary care providers can better support patients experiencing PTSD symptoms while they await referral/connection to mental health services, as well as recommendations for counseling and assisting patients manage with potential triggers and stresses while living in shelter.
– Dr. Melinda Lopez, MD, OBGYN at People’s Community Clinic, a FQHC in Austin, Texas, presented her work and led a discussion around the following questions: 1) The aftercare medical needs of survivors. Do these services need to be provided at a specialty clinic for HT? How might it look in private practice? What are core elements of this care?; 2) What are barriers to screening for HT among well-informed medical providers who have been trained in trauma-informed care and HT? Does screening for trauma/asking questions regarding trauma prove harmful for patients? What is the appropriate way to proceed when patients do not want to be screened for trauma?; and 3) How do we protect ourselves, staff, and other patients from danger that can result from assisting a patient to escape a situation of trauma? What are the ethical obligations in this scenario? Case studies were provided to help guide the discussion and stimulate conversation.
– Danielle Heitmann, LCSW, & Stacy Reed, MSW, presented the work of the RIA House team’s strategy for outreach, engagement and support for adult survivors of commercial sexual exploitation. They engaged participants in a discussion focused on the following questions: 1) What are effective strategies that support long-term engagement and empowerment among adult survivors?; and 2) What are common challenges that come up over the course of recovery, and how can they be navigated?
– Darci Flynn, Associate Director of the Freedom from Trafficking Program at Heartland Alliance, Chicago, IL, presented her work and engaged participants in a discussion focused on the following questions: 1) What protocols do you have in place for immigrants who are potential survivors of human trafficking? Language access?; and 2) Do you have protocols in place for both sex and labor trafficking? Male and female? LGBTQ? Adults and minors?