Above are the notorious Kibera Slums of Kenya, Courtesy Eric Ochere
US & global low fee/pro bono engagement overview
engaged abbey ~ abbey global
Independent, low/no fee swift confidential connection, support, assistance with communication, consultation for select, requesting, global administrators, humanitarians, missionaries, governmental employees, faith-based and secular field workers aiming to support individual/family mental health, child/family functioning in particular, safety and overall wellbeing of staff and workers in the most remote locations, challenging geopolitically unstable regions, countries, and/or highly challenging interpersonal situations around the world. Provide enhanced linkage and connection to other known agencies where we can, including global counterintelligence professionals.
Children and families prioritized:
Preferential support is given to those requesting immediate assistance related to clinical child/family conflict and disruption, complications regarding complex medical issues which impact family members, potential complications due to separation of family members, staff or family extractions, and well-being considerations for those with known trauma histories and/or extraordinarily thin systems of social support.
We give support to workers in remote, geopolitically unstable regions;those in areas of recent & imminent violence.
Priority is also given to the attachment and psychological needs of young children and mothers. and to the prevention, early detection, and direction toward psychoeducation and treatment where appropriate - consistent with global efforts to raise awareness of, educate around, and eliminate gender-based violence in its many forms.
Recent work has included confidential consultation with other developmental psychologists and counterintelligence specialists on the differential effects on varied ages of children regarding impairment of their parents' health and/or mental health status during risk and heightened risk situations, identifying acute and chronic stressors, whether or not, and to what degree these might be alleviated, participating in decision-making with involved supervising staff, families and agencies regarding pertinent psychological issues bearing on safe and immediate extraction- especially highlighting variables specific to the physical and emotional safety of the youngest and otherwise most dependent family members (young children in families).
engaged abbey ~ blue canoe Jan. 2000 to Present
This is a beloved, sixteen-year pro-bono project of Dr. Ruebsamen & participating professionals. Rapid, low/no fee mental health and direct emergency support and linkage services are provided for indigent, homeless, street youth; young people with complex, complicated medical conditions such as HIV/AIDS, some gender questioning or transgender status, most with little to no adult support; children and youth at considerable risk who are without basic family support (housing/employment) and who are victims or potential victims of gender-based harassment, gender-based violence; incessant threat and bullying; family ostracization, etc. Some are failures of the foster care system.
Another category of youth at high risk are children undergoing acute medical procedures - receiving treatment for pediatric cancer, awaiting organ transplant, kids diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, etc. some who and for psychological reasons are experiencing high levels of alienation within their families. We aim to provide emotional/psychological support, rapid assessment, brief treatment or as long as needed, connection and linkage, and hope.
we have served qualifying vulnerable children and youth suffering from complicated illness, sometimes from medical-surgical procedures, -- pediatric cancers, pediatric HIV/AIDS, organ transplant; surviving child victims of parental abandonment, exposure to sibling or parent suicide/homicide, untreated victims of crime, parental addiction, maltreatment, and those who are on the street for various reasons, have no stable or accepting family, may be associated with unaccompanied, domestic or or global migration, US commercial or sex trafficking, violent forced displacement from oppressive cults/foreign regimes, exposed to torture/genocide in their countries of origin. These children and youth are exhausted, confused, overwhelmed, seeking refuge and safety. They generally have no friends or contacts, no finances, no transportation, they are hungry, cold, cannot pay established fees.
Sampling of Recent Statistics:
2015 San Jose 32 unaccompanied children homeless under 18
503 transition homeless age youth over 18
*2014, across Monterey county
there were 5865
6,000 "homeless" children attending local schools in grades K-12
includes homeless families in trucks/tents/cars
More and more now
*2016, in Salinas, highways lined with small tents and encampments, broken down trucks where hundreds of children live so they can go to school, tended by distant relatives of tended by distant relatives of family friends, even strangers.
The definition of "homelessness" extends to any family without a permanent roof over their heads.
Many homeless kids are living with aunties, uncles or grandparents due to parents' abandonment or incarceration, thus they are, by definition, homeless.
Homelessness can disrupt education and learning, cause a lack of study space, spur truancy, cause health and behavioral problems, lead to poor nutrition and hygiene. by Roberto Robledo, 9.18.2014. (homeless ranks in Salinas are increasing.)
2015 Monterey County 50 unaccomp. children homeless under 18
**220 transition age homeless youth between 18-24
2015 SClara County 59 unaccomp children homeless under 18
**824 transition age youth between 18 - 24; 40 are parents
blue canoe is made available for indigent and homeless youth who are at poly risk, unsupported, losing educational opportunities, vulnerable to crime, disease, exploitation to commercial, drug, and sexual trafficking, and who can benefit from psychiatric support and potential referral to longer term counseling, emergency shelter, medical care, counseling, pre-vocational residential agencies such as provided by Covenant House and, at times, rennection with family members.
We have successfully used Blue Canoe for very young child and youth victims of gender-based harassment and violence in their homes, schools, on the street, in workplaces for the few able to hold jobs, and in other critical environments such as low-income families going through cancer-treatment with their child.
blue canoe has become CODE for "let us assist you in navigating these waters" -- it is our accessible style of making crucial support possible for youth otherwise unserved -- young people who may have histories of maltreatment, are usually confused to the point of overwhelm, have compelling medical needs, have critical psychiatric need but are highly ambivalent about the nature, purpose, and trustworthiness of psychological support. They are extremely vulnerable to misinformation, victimization, and exploitation on the streets, have no access to immediate professional assistance, little knowledge of what is available and who to trust, and no access to no-fee, medical or psychiatric assistance.
We are committed to helping them locate and receive initial, expert, assessment, impartial listening and care, psychoeducation regarding available professional health and mental health services, direction and assistance with planning, thoughtfully individualized and feasible, affordable referrals for further services and aftercare.
ukraine recovery project
Independent instruction in response to appeal by Ukrainian psychologists, psychiatrists, medical and mental health providers who came together from war-ravaged areas of Ukraine. Our contributions revolve around teaching and rapid training regarding the nature, effects, and treatment of torture and its aftermath - as pertain to recently physically wounded, traumatized and tortured soldiers who, though severely injured, are only briefly returned home, seen by medical personnel, briefly housed with their families, and almost immediately returned to armed conflict. We were asked, as well, to provide training and materials suitable for a range of understanding that would be considered helpful for wives and partners of those returning soldiers who suffered from severe PTSD -- in order that the women could be better prepared to manage the returnee's distress and the upheaval it causes within the family (especially the small children).
This is an ongoing pro bono consulting project of Drs. Livingston and Ruebsamen currently diverted by lack of funding.
always be listening global initiative ~
Global initiative and a US-based nonprofit of Dr. Ruebsamen and Dr. Livingston serving children in twelve countries at border regions of significant geopolitical instability and high danger.
We aim to uniquely address the needs of war/armed conflict children fleeing to neighboring, receiving countries by assessing their lived war experiences and ways of coping, and their lingering PTSD experiences, in order to accurately assign them to fitting intervention/treatment groups.
Please see the website alwaysbelisteningglobal.com for complete and updated information. Thank you.