Mental health team seeks members

Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties’ Critical Incident Stress Management Team is looking to increase the number of its members.

Officials are seeking to build the team, which now has 38 members from fields of mental health, law enforcement, fire, EMS, faith and school.

The majority of members are from Seneca County, and several are from Wyandot County, said Stephanie Little, pastor of A Little Faith Ministries at 230 S. Washington St.

She has been leading the Critical Incident Stress Management team since January.

“We’re trying to grow Sandusky (County),” she said.

A year ago, officials underwent training to be part of the team, which can provide immediate response when invited and offer debriefing and coping services in times of crisis in the board’s three counties.

The team is available to assist those dealing with tragedy.

Services, which are provided free of charge, include pre-incident stress management education, crisis management briefing, defusing, debriefing, individual support, follow-up and referral, and pastoral care, according to a release.

Little said everyone involved can share their perspective of what they felt or saw during the crisis. By using a debriefing, officials can let people know they’re going to experience certain things following a trauma and that it’s normal.

If they need extended help, officials on the team can refer them to someone else, Little said.

“Usually three to four people (respond to help),” she said.

Little said the team went active in July and has an average of one call-out per month. Officials have received good feedback from those to whom they have provided the service, and people going through it seem to appreciate the assistance, she said.

Little said while one hopes officials never use the team, it’s good they have this kind of team. She said she has enjoyed being part of it.

“I love it,” she said.

Those on the team also have an opportunity to undergo training for Loss Outreach of Suicide Survivor Teams. The teams provide crisis response and outreach services after the loss of a person to suicide, according to information about the training.

Hopefully next year, Little said, the crisis team can expand to include a drug-overdose team.

To request the team’s assistance, call (833) 776-2476.