Critical Stress Management Team Trained for Crisis

10/21 – Developed in response to Hurricane Florence, the School of Social Work partnered with Open Gate Domestic Violence Shelter and Services; Coastal Horizons Center, Inc.; Catholic Charities; and New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office to develop the Critical Stress Management Team. The team provides a supportive space for individuals to understand the facts of a crisis after it has occurred and direction to resources to process through thoughts, questions and feelings. The team also connects people to mental health professionals, when needed.

The group formed after various social workers, medical staff, first responders, etc. expressed their need for support to debrief about the trauma they experienced while helping others during past times of crises. Coastal Horizons secured funding to train 30 individuals and asked the College of Health and Human Services to be part of the initiative. 

“As helping professionals, we cannot forget that we also need support when crises occurs and a process to work through the crisis responses we are leading,” Field Education Coordinator Angie Vandenberg said. “So often we are busy taking care of everyone else that we forget to take care of ourselves.”

The hub for the team is currently being coordinated by staff in the School of Social Work. The team meets on a quarterly basis to practice skills, do additional trainings and debrief and process crisis response jobs, how they went, what works and what could be improved.

CHHS team members are:

  • Kristin Bolton
  • Carolyn Craddock
  • Lori Dugan 
  • Ashley Jensen, executive assistant to the dean
  • Tiffany Lane 
  • Amy Van de Motter 
  • Noell Rowan
  • Katy Theil
  • Angie Vandenberg 
  • Ashley Wells, assistant dean for community engagement