LOUISVILLE, Ky. – (August 13, 2012) Mayor Greg Fischer and the Louisville Metro Violence Prevention Work Group are asking people to volunteer for a response team that will be deployed in crisis situations to lessen trauma and reduce the long term impacts of violence in Louisville.
The Metro Violence Prevention Work Group was established by Fischer earlier this year.
The first phase of recruiting for the crisis response team occurred in July and was focused on clergy and behavioral health professionals. In this second phase, recruitment is being expanded to other members of the public including first responders, members of any faith community, health educators, physicians, and nurses.
"I’m calling on Louisville citizens to be trained and to serve on the crisis response team,” Fischer said. “This is a chance to make a real impact on the lives of others by showing compassion for the victims of violence, to mitigate its effects and to prevent further violence.”
To serve on the response team, participants must complete online trainings in Psychological First Aid and National Incident Management System as well as attend a one-day class (Psychological First Aid II) on Aug. 30 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness, 400 E. Gray St. Individuals can register and receive information on completing on-line portion of the training at http://kccrb.ky.gov/train/ or call 888-522-7228. All courses are free.
The one-day class on Aug. 30 will be conducted by the Kentucky Community Crisis Response Board (KCCRB), the state’s lead disaster behavioral health agency.
Volunteers will be trained to provide “Psychological First Aid” and peer support in crisis situations. “Psychological First Aid" is the application of the three basic concepts - protect, direct and connect. It embraces:
- addressing immediate physical needs
- comforting and consoling affected individuals
- providing concrete information about where to turn for help
- listening to and validating feelings
- linking individuals to support systems
- normalizing stress reactions to trauma and sudden loss
- reinforcing positive coping skills
“When people don’t have the tools to deal with challenging events in their lives, sometimes violence can result,” said Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, co-chair of the violence prevention work group and director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness. “An acute life stressor can overwhelm a person’s ability to access the tools to recover. This is precisely when crisis intervention can assist the individual and the community.”