This Friday closes the World Economic Forum in Davos, in Switzerland, where the largest companies and the most influential political leaders on the planet come together. But in addition to politics and business, the forum also rewards social innovation. This year, the international NGO Glasswing, founded in El Salvador, received an award for its initiatives to improve mental health in the face of violence in Central America.
the NGO glasswing was awarded at the World Economic Forum in Davos especially for a psychoeducation program that it is implementing with close to 100,000 public officials from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Colombia.
“If a patient arrives with a bullet, they take him out, disinfect him and perform the surgical process. Then that person leaves and as a consequence, you may probably have anxiety, panic, it may be difficult for you to sleep. It may be that one goes into depression. So there are many impacts of this type of violence”, explains Celina de Sola, president of this NGO, from Davos.
The consequences of trauma, if not properly treated, can increase the risk that a patient will be a victim of violence again, or even commit violence himself.
But the training of health workers provided by the NGO makes it possible to reduce this risk, underlines the president of Glasswing: “We did a study with the World Bank. That they return to the hospital with another injury reduces that probability by 30%, which obviously on a human level is a great impact and also has economic implications for the health system.
“Consequence of a stimulus”
For police officers, the training aims to lower the likelihood that officers may commit violence at work or in their personal lives in reaction to trauma. And in the case of teachers, the NGO seeks to help them understand what can lead a boy or a girl to have problems at school.
According to Celina de Sola, “what those who participate also tell us is that you understand the impact. You understand that behavior is a consequence of a stimulus. It’s not that you’re a bad person because of something you do. Then it allows you to change because you understand that they are a consequence of something”.
In a more general way, the NGO also seeks to fight against prejudices, providing tools to public workers to face part of mental health problems: “The truth is that the evidence points to the fact that, if you do not have a well-being base, mental health, you hardly achieve education or health goals. In other words, if a boy or a girl comes from a very adverse context at home and there is no support system so that that boy or girl can understand and manage the stress or trauma they face, they will not be able to learn mathematics”, says De Sola.
Glasswing today is present in 14 countries throughout the Americas and has more than 600 employees.