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2007–Russian Delegation on Trauma, Addiction, and Recovery

Sponsored by the Open World Leadership Center, a Russian delegation on trauma, addiction, and recovery visited the department in December, 2007. The national hosting organization of this visit is the Eurasian Leadership Program at the National Peace Foundation. The UMass Chan Medical School/UMass Memorial Medical Center is the local host.

The delegates are: Tatiana Fattakhova, Larisa Geydenrikh, Larisa Aylarova, Irina Ramonova, and Viacheslav Buzhinskiy. The five Russian delegates shared their extensive experience with working with soldiers, families, adolescents, and children who experienced war or natural disasters, including how to address preventing and promoting the recovery of war veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The visiting delegates included a consulting psychologist from the Republican Center for Medical, Social and Psychological Assistance, which offers psychological and social rehabilitation for patients in crisis; a consultant psychologist, who provides psychological consultation and conducts psychotherapy groups; a psychologist from the Regional Center for Diagnostics and Consulting, which provides help for students in crisis situations; a chief psychologist who organized a program for training military psychologists on PTSD; and a facilitator.

We learned from the Russian delegates about their professional expertise, cultural variations in similar clinical treatment methodologies and administrative management issues and equally important to learn about Russian culture, history, and current affairs. We benefited from the specific presentations of the Russian delegates which included PowerPoint presentations and impromptu teaching opportunities on topics such as Russian telephone hotline services, adolescent mental health services in schools, special programs for veterans, and disaster psychiatry for the community. The informal and formal conversations were lively and informative. There was a great recognition for the need for people-to-people visits for scientific and cultural exchanges.