Mental health board plans crisis team

Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties is gathering professionals to form a critical incident stress management team.

The team would provide immediate response when invited and offer debriefing and coping services in times of crisis in the board’s three counties.

“When something tragic happens in our community, people are often left with confusion and uncertainty regarding who to contact for support and services,” information from Mircea Handru, director of Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties, states.

“This may lead to miscommunication, and in turn, slow the response time in getting the support that is needed.”

Now, in the case of a critical incident, officials would call others in their network to respond.

Handru said he felt like organizations didn’t have a coordinated plan, and he thought it was time to have an organized process.

Handru said the goal is to have 25 to 30 members on the team. Not all would respond at the same time, he said.

He is seeking behavioral health professionals, educators, first-responders and faith-based representatives and said officials are willing to accept others as well.

The 14-hour training is set for April 2-3.

“This is for the people to be on the team,” he said.

After the training, officials would work to become certified through Ohio’s critical incident stress management network.

“We hope to have everything up and running before July 1,” Handru said.

The team would have a coordinator and second person in charge who would be available 24/7 and on-call in case of a critical incident. The coordinator would dispatch team members to try to plan the team’s response.

The team never would respond unless it is called upon, Handru said.

“This is not counseling,” he said.