Help For First Responders

CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV) – In response to the July 16 domestic terror attack, Chattanooga’s Family Justice Center hosted a crisis intervention seminar Thursday.
Clergy and mental health professionals gathered to learn more about dealing with trauma.
The Family Justice Center’s Crisis Intervention seminar is designed to teach the foundational principles of disaster behavoral and mental health.

Psychologist Doctor Sam Bernard believes crisis intervention helps us understand how people cope with disaster.

In turn, mental health professionals use this knowledge to assist those who have been traumatized by an incident; things like what Chattanooga has being going through the last two weeks .

"Many times folks aren’t for sure how to wrap their heads around it. How to make sense of it so that they can file it away in their life filing cabinet so they can go on with their life doing what it is that they love doing."

Crisis chaplain Barry Bryant, a paramedic for 20 years, tells us its also important for responders to identify trauma in their own lives.

"What we’re doing here today is learning more how trauma affects the responders and how through their reactions what their coping mechanism are or are not. So what we’re learning here today is how to recognize those and to respond to those appropriately."

Considering the domestic terror attack in Chattanooga on July 16th, social worker Carla Davis feels the city has coped very well.

"The way that they have pulled together and bonded and supported one another has been a great support for everyone. I mean that’s a really good way to deal with trauma and grief issues."

Dr. Bernard is a long-time Chattanooga psychologist and therapist who has specialized in treating trauma victims and counseling those who provide services to them.
More of the sessions are scheduled for August.

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