Disaster Response Crisis Counselor Teams

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Presentation Description

Morris County NJ has a team of trained, credentialed crisis responders who provide emotional support and community information in the aftermath of an overwhelming disaster.


Presentation Transcript

Morris County Emergency Mental Health – A Coordinated Response :

Morris County Emergency Mental Health – A Coordinated Response Natural, Public Health, Human Caused Disasters

PowerPoint Presentation:

Laurie Becker Mental Health Administrator Morris County Department of Human Services & Mary Vineis, Morris County Traumatic Loss Coalition Coordinator Coordinator Prevention Services NewBridge Services

Disaster Response Crisis Counselors (DRCC) & Traumatic Loss Coalition (TLC) Teams How the County is Connected:

Disaster Response Crisis Counselors (DRCC) & Traumatic Loss Coalition (TLC) Teams How the County is Connected Teams of trained volunteer responders who provide emotional support and community information in the aftermath of an overwhelming disasters and traumatic loss of youth. County driven via Morris County Emergency Operations Plan/mental health annex as required by State and FEMA Implemented by Department of Human Services, specifically the mental health administrator at no additional cost to County. DRCC and TLC teams access mental health services of existing providers, most funded by County dollars.

When to Activate the DRCC:

When to Activate the DRCC If there is a disaster that overwhelms existing community resources Only when requested The County’s disaster mental health responders do not interfere with natural and existing support systems already in place. Responses: March 2012—Traumatic event supported Traumatic Loss Coalition as the lead responder to Drug Court members after the deaths of two members of their Drug Court class. October 14-26, 2011—Terroristic shooting 13 responders totaling 82 hours to support MHAMC staff after terroristic shooting at workplace site. August 27-September 30, 2011 – Tropical storms Irene, Lee 30 responders totaling 207 hours to support the community (Mennen, FEMA assistance center, Denville, Lincoln Park, Pequannock) February 2, 2011—Haitian Earthquake 7 responders (and interpreters) provided total of 21 hours of outreach to Parsippany Hilton employees. November 2010—Traumatic event 3 responders over 2 days to support Homeless Solutions staff after death of resident October 23—November 8, 2009—Traumatic event 36 responders from Morris/Union totaling 432 hours to support the St. Patrick’s Church community in Chatham after the priest’s murder. Total of 755 hours of crisis counselor response. Also there for Hurricane Katrina, aftermath of September 11 th

Coordinating with Traumatic Loss Coalition :

Coordinating with Traumatic Loss Coalition Traumatic Loss Coalition— Statewide,funded by the NJ Department of Children and Families (DCF). Partially supports coalitions in every County. Provides suicide prevention and a collaborative, coordinated mental health response to a community crisis affecting school-aged youth. Primary responder after a school and/or youth focused traumatic event. Event may not overwhelm existing service capacity but needs specialized supports of TLC. Phone consultations. Onsite responders who are trained in classroom based and traumatic incident interventions.

Traumatic Loss Coalition (TLC):

Traumatic Loss Coalition (TLC) The Morris County TLC Lead Response Team (LRT) is comprised of 18 volunteers under the leadership of the Morris County TLC Coordinator. Members represent county, mental health agencies, hospitals, schools and private practitioners. The Coalition provides a local forum for networking, education and collaboration surrounding youth. The LRT is the lead response group that assists a community or school when there is a traumatic event affecting youth that needs specialized expertise and/or overwhelms the existing infrastructure.

When to Activate TLC:

When to Activate TLC Teams to be activated at invitation of school or community, to assist schools or communities in the aftermath of a traumatic loss caused by suicide, homicide, accident, illness etc. in which youth are involved or affected Coordinator also consults with schools on crisis plans and post-vention work with school crisis teams following an event to decrease effects of compassion fatigue.

New Jersey Leading Causes of Death:

New Jersey Leading Causes of Death Ages 10-14: 1.Unintentional Injury 3. Homicide 6. Suicide Ages 15-24: 1. Unintentional Injury 2. Homicide 3. Suicide

National Statistics:

National Statistics In 2007, over 34,000 people died by suicide in the U.S. In U.S. overall, 25 suicide attempts occur for each suicide death. Among youth aged 10-24, 65- 200 attempts occur for each suicide. Every 2 hours and 11 minutes, someone under the age of 25 completes. It is the 3 rd leading cause of death between ages 15 and 24, the 6 th between ages 10 and 14. About 7% of students in grades 9-12 or 1 of every 14 report making a suicide attempt in the past year.

Traumatic Loss Coalition (TLC) :

Traumatic Loss Coalition (TLC) When does DRCC get involved? When the impact of the incident spills out into the community at large resulting in a need for broader supports and longer response time. When requested to support TLC team members. High priority given to coordinating with TLC due to mutual goals . St. Patrick’s Church, Chatham incident—2009 36 Morris/Union responders from our Human Services Agency Response Network/DRCC team provided counseling and community education over 16 days to general church community. TLC focused on the school and children. Drug Court– March 2012

TLC Responses:

TLC Responses TLC Responses Morris County 2012 -12 Responses 3 Adolescent Suicides, 1 Adolescent Attempt, 2 Adolescent Attempts 2 Adult Suicides, 3 Adult Natural Causes, 1 Youth Sexual Assualt 180 response hours 2011 – 8 Responses 1 Adolescent Attempt, 1 Anniversary support, 1 Adult Accidental Overdose, 2 Adolescent Natural Causes, 1 Adult Natural Causes, 1 Youth Accidental, Flood Response 189 response hours 2010 - 8 Responses 2 Adolescent Suicide, 2 Adult Suicide, 1 Adolescent Suicide Ideation, 1 Adult Homicide, 2 Adult Heart Attack 442 response hours

Guiding Principles:

Guiding Principles Psychological First Aid Safety and comfort Calming – “being there” is a real job Connectedness Self and community efficacy (belief in capabilities) Hope Communication is an intervention—accurate information post disaster, addressing current needs/concerns (better than any medication we know, information treats anxiety in a crisis) Coping tools Community resource information/referrals


Reflections Grief is neither a gift nor a curse although it may, at times, seem like both. Perhaps, instead, it is the dividend of our investment in or commitment to an individual or groups. Without investment there is no loss. Without loss, no grief. We earn our grief with our investment in others. It is therefore a precious dividend not to be avoided or shunned but embraced. Dr. Brian Flynn, Former Assistant Surgeon General USPHS, Rear Admiral, USPHS

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