Restoring Livelihoods with Psychosocial Support

This series introduces why and how livelihood initiatives can be designed to appropriately and ethically respond to psychosocial and mental health needs so that populations affected by trauma and economic hardship can take full advantage of the opportunities such development programs offer.


Introduction to Pyschosocial Concepts for Livelihoods Programming

Introduction and overview for 5-part video series, which lays out the reasons it is important to consider psycho-social and mental health needs when designing livelihood programs


Cognition and Decision Making: The Effects of Stress

This segment discusses the effects of stress, poverty, trauma, and stigma on performance and behavior, sharing examples of how this understanding can be integrated to improve livelihood program accessibility and effectiveness.


Livelihood Interventions as Psychosocial Interventions

This segment explores ways livelihood programs can be in and of themselves provide psychosocial support and includes an exploration of how such activities can positively impact brain functioning


The practical Application of Brain Science to Livelihood Interventions

The segment offers practical guidance for how to develop brain science-informed livelihood programming to transform participant outcomes and achievements.


Conclusion & Ethics and Do No Harm

This segment wraps up the series by discussing the ethical considerations that are critical to bear in mind when designing and implementing mental health and psychosocially responsive livelihood programs.

About the Presenters

Ann Willhoite

Ann Marie Willhoite, MA in Counseling Psychology (Northwestern University), is an International Clinical Advisor for Mental Health (Center for Victims of Torture, CVT). She advises mental health program development and service delivery in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe, clinical supervision for mental health professionals in the field, and works on global mental health advocacy in Washington, DC. 

James Walsh

James Walsh, MPP (Harvard University), works on Behavioral Initiatives at the World Bank and served as a member of the World Development Report 2015 team, which examined how development interventions can be improved by including a richer understanding of the human actor in policy design.

Guglielmo Schininà

Guglielmo Schininà is Head of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Mental Health, Psychosocial Response, and Intercultural Communication Section. He co-directs “Psychosocial interventions in Migration, Emergency and Displacement” (Sant’Anna University, Pisa) and the Executive Master in “Psychosocial Support and Dialogue” (Lebanese University). For almost 20 years world-wide, he has promoted psychosocial wellbeing for migrants, trafficking victims and crisis-affected populations.

Elisabeth Babcock

Elisabeth (Beth) Babcock, MA, PhD (Harvard University) is President, CEO of the Crittenton Women’s Union (CWU), a Boston-based national non-profit organization whose mission is to move families out of poverty.  Since 2009, CWU’s brain-science informed anti-poverty approach, Mobility Mentoring™, has radically improved economic mobility outcomes for participants and has been endorsed and adopted by state governments, non-profit organizations, national foundations, and academic institutions. 

Dr. Adeyinka Akinsulure-Smith

Dr. Akinsulure-Smith, PhD (Columbia University) is Associate Professor in Psychology at City College (City University, New York) and a Senior Supervising Psychologist (Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture). She works with culturally diverse populations: forced migrants, survivors of human rights abuses and armed conflict. The series features her work in the Sierra Leone Youth Readiness Initiative (YRI), an evidence-based behavioral intervention for war-affected youth.