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Facing the Storm Together

Facing the Storm Together

Tue, 27 Apr 2021 13:30 - 15:00 British Summer Time (UTC+1)

Register here.

Facing the Storm Together: Exploring Community Resilience in Times of Crisis

1.5-hour webinar and workshop covering a range of issues concerning resilience in communities post disasters.

As part of UEL’s wellbeing portal and ongoing webinar series to support those working on the frontlines, we invite you to our next monthly webinar and workshop on 27th April 2021.

Incidents such as the protracted conflict in Syria, the back-to-back floods in Pakistan and Colombia and most recently the COVID19 pandemic, create silent and often hidden needs for local, national, and/or international populations, in addition to those who respond to them. One of these hidden needs may include a range of psychological and physiological responses to deeply distressing or disturbing events that may overwhelm our ability to cope, cause feelings of helplessness, diminish our sense of self and our ability to feel a full range of emotions and experiences. To explore these experiences the portal team have put together a series of sessions on trauma.

Our first session ran in March and was an introduction to the concepts of trauma and resilience; concepts that are often viewed in relation to one another. The main focus of the first session was experience of the individual. During our second session, we will be focusing on exploring these concepts within smaller groups and communities. This session will be followed by two other sessions taking place in May and June and covering issues concerning trauma and recovery, in addition to a session focusing on basic counselling skills that would be helpful when working with someone who had a traumatic experience.

These sessions aim to build awareness regarding the topics discussed and support the development of a community of professionals who are working on the frontlines during this time. Therefore, they will always be following by an experiential activity or group discussions.

In this session we will focus on exploring the impact of disasters and crisis on communities; resilience within communities; building resilient communities; engage in an experiential activity to support the learning outcomes of the session.

Please register as soon as possible to avoid any disappointment. You will receive an email from with the Teams joining link the day prior the event.

If you have any accessibility issue with Eventbrite please email and we will assist with your registration.

*Certificates will be available upon request

© Image from

Biographies of Presenters

Dr Jeeda Alhakim

Dr Jeeda Alhakim is a lecturer on the Counselling Psychology Doctorate and MSc Humanitarian Intervention (Distance Learning). She has been a practicing therapist for 10 years, working with adults, children and couples. Dr Alhakim worked at a variety of public and private health care services, most recently with Hestia Housing supporting survivors and the bereaved of the Grenfell Tower fire that took place in London. Previously in her career, she worked for the International Organisation for Migration and the Syrian Red Crescent in Damascus. As a result of her own personal and professional experiences she began to see the important role that psychology can play in supporting individuals and the wider community particularly in times of crisis, conflict and disasters. Therefore, alongside her current therapeutic work at a private healthcare hospital, she is also an active member in the field of humanitarian psychosocial interventions. She is currently working with two NGOs in Syria, to develop a culturally appropriate psychosocial training for front-liners working in healthcare services and staff in the humanitarian sector. She is also working with Dr Berdondini to develop a collaborative research project on the role of higher education in supporting mental health in Afghanistan alongside colleagues at the University of Herat, in addition to supporting the development of an online wellbeing portal for frontline staff during the COVID19 pandemic. In her spare time, she volunteers with and works as a mentor to refugees based in Lebanon and Jordan with a King’s College London-led Education project.

Dr Lucia Berdondini

Dr Lucia Berdondini PhD, is a Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader of the MSc Humanitarian Intervention (Distance Learning) programme at the University of East London. She is also a BACP registered Gestalt psychotherapist and has been practicing for over 15 years with individuals and groups running a small private practice. Over time, her interests have expanded from looking at bullying in schools to the Psychology of Disasters and Humanitarian Interventions. In 2006 she completed a Certificate (100 hours) in Psychology of Emergencies and Disaster at the Instituto Gestalt Firenze. Between September 2006 and December 2008, she collaborated as Psychologist of Emergency with the Italian Red Cross and with the Italian NGO PeaceWaves International Network. In 2008, thanks to PeaceWaves Lucia became involved in missions in Afghanistan (Kabul and Herat) and established a long-term collaboration with the University of Herat. She has focused her professional activity in the field, on developing counselling training courses in countries in war and post conflict, such as Afghanistan, India, Angola and now most recently Syria. She has been collaborating with a number of international NGOs (like Save The Children and the Red Cross) and she is still very active in the field of the humanitarian psychosocial intervention. Her most recent projects include a collaborative research with colleagues at the University of Herat looking at the role of higher education in supporting mental health in Afghanistan and developing an online wellbeing portal in collaboration with colleagues and students on the MSc programme to support those on the frontlines of the COVID19 pandemic.

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