Remembering Smita Singh and Professional Development for Therapists

As many of you know, Smita Singh, a big supporter of New Horizons and a valued consultant, passed away a few weeks ago. Johnson shared with us that key members of her board are taking charge and are going to help support the homes (similar to New Horizons House) that were the heart and soul of Smita’s work.

The Corona virus situation is very hard right now in Bhimavaram. Johnson confirmed that the small town had 108 confirmed cases in just 24 hours yesterday. Johnson and Esther are being vigilant in trying to keep the New Horizons girls and staff safe.

Discussions began about the new counselor/therapist who was recently hired. The board has recommended that the new therapist take a self-paced, online course that is designed to help caregivers working with clients experiencing extreme stress, grief, and trauma. She has agreed to take the course, and New Horizons will pay for it. There is a possibility that Esther might also take the course. The online lessons include:

  • An introduction to crisis counseling
  • Grief, loss, and complicated grief
  • Trauma and abuse
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Trauma and attachment
  • Counseling strategies
  • Impact dynamics of crisis and trauma
  • Methods and techniques for immediate response
  • Peer support and accountability
  • Survivor guilt and fostering resiliency
  • Managing the high cost of care
  • Community response and cultural differences

The new therapist also just finished her first visit to New Horizons House to meet the girls. She will be visiting three times a month. According to Johnson and Esther, the girls responded very well to her. She is “soft-hearted and a good listener” according to Johnson. She also emphasizes the importance of becoming independent. She is working closely with the onsite counselor in order to assist the girls during this transition.

A corridor between two homes in Bhimavaram

Due to the virus, construction on the staff housing has slowed with the lockdown in place. Construction with a small crew will begin again on August 5th. They hope to have the new quarters finished by November. The guard shack, however, is done and ready for occupancy.

NHH staff is busy working on contracting with an insurance company to provide coverage for the New Horizons girls and staff if they were to get sick with the virus. According to John, government hospitals in the area are “not good” and do not provide quality care. As a result, insurance is needed to cover visits to a private hospital in Bhimavaram that does provide high quality care. We can discuss this issue in more detail at the board meeting this Thursday.
As always, thank you all for your continued support and prayers.