2015 Annual MCRA Conference
The Annual MCRA Training Conference was held September 20-22, 2015 at the Kettenun Center in Tustin, MI. This three day event brought together over 100 individuals to be trained in the field of crisis intervention as well as those already serving on CISM teams to enhance their skills/knowledge in crisis intervention. It brought together a wide range of community professionals in law enforcement, fire services, EMS, mental health, clergy, educators, medical care, EAP, crisis intervention, traumatic stress, and disaster mental health professionals. Approximately 106 attendees took a class with a little over half of them being first time attendees.
ICISF courses offered at the conference were: Group Crisis Intervention and Assisting Individuals in Crisis (GRIN); Advanced Assisting Individuals in Crisis; Advanced Group Crisis Intervention; Managing School Crises: From Theory to Application; and Grief Following Trauma. We also offered non-ICISF courses which were: Psychological First Aid; Preparing for a Multi-Day, Multi Discipline, Large Scale Event; and multiple workshops which included Avoiding the Nuclear Meltdown: Building Resilient CISM Responders; Self Care for the First Responder; and Managing Changing Roles: When the Provider Becomes a Patient/ Family Member.
The overall conference rating was 88% with instructor ratings at 90% resulting with MCRA providing another well organized, beneficial, and meaningful training conference. Save the date for 28th MCRA Annual Training Conference scheduled for September 18-20, 2016.
First Responder Privileged Communication Bill (SB 444) passed through the senate and was assigned to the House Health Policy Committee. Testimonies were given on February 2, 2016 and was passed unanimously on February 9, 2016. The full House was asked to take the measure up as soon as possible; however there is no confirmed date as to when this will happen.
This legislation will legally protect the confidentiality of first responders receiving CISM services from CISM teams. It would also protect the CISM peers/team members that are assisting first responders.
Coordinator Support - A Look at Resiliency
In previous issues of MCRA Connections we have discussed issues raised by coordinators. One of those issues was/is resiliency as it applies to those we serve and to our own team members. We intend the discussion of Resiliency to be an ongoing segment of MCRA Connections.
ICISF includes a discussion of resiliency based on the continuum of care: Resistance, Resiliency, and Recovery. The tools we use to foster resiliency are based on the foundation set by those tools that we develop to foster resistance. Included in that tool box is the need for balance.
In the movie, The Karate Kid, Mr. Miagi stressed balance not only in karate, but in life. This need is particularly true in today’s world, where we sometimes lose track of the need for balance in our own lives.
We work to balance three areas of our lives; the world of work, the world of our natural support network, and the world of our inner self. Each of these areas has different expectations and rewards that affect how we think, how we feel, and how we behave.
Work includes those things we do for pay and those things we do without pay just to get through the day. Work provides us with many things. Among them are money (though usually not enough), professional identity/growth, and a social network of people involved in a similar type of work. Managing the “production” expectations of work sometimes conflicts with what we hoped would be the rewards of our work. Sometimes what we took the job in order to do is not exactly what we get to do enough of from day to day. The more “in balance” our expectations for work are with what we actually experience on the job – and the social/professional climate we find ourselves in – the more job satisfaction, and the less work related stress, we will experience.
Natural support networks have different expectations and rewards than the work place. The people in our natural support network have a longer commitment to us as individuals than most of the people we work with. “The work” is not the criteria for belonging. Instead, it is personal fit and commitment to each other. This network of people and places should serve as a source of renewal apart from work. We have extended – and sometimes lifetime – commitments here that are based on connectedness, not on work demands. A good balance between your work world and your natural support network allows you to return to work with a healthy perspective and a greater ability to manage the reality of its demands.
Our inner world is our core, but one that requires balance and “fit” with the two outer worlds in order for us to thrive and grow as an individual. To experience renewal and a sense of fulfillment and fit with our personal values and lifetime goals, we not only need to “take care of inner business,” but the work we choose and the support network we belong to must be in sync with these values and goals or we will still not be satisfied. It is important to know and to nourish the needs of our selves in this way.
If we can maintain an appropriate balance and fit between these three worlds, we will go a long way toward leading a mentally and emotionally healthy life, building a resistance foundation. To perform this balancing act we need to understand the different expectations of each of our three worlds and to successfully manage conflicts within and between these worlds in ways that allows us to maintain a healthy balance and perspective.
Here are some ways to maintain this balance:
- Try not to let the pressures that may arise at work spill over very much into your natural support network. Natural supports should allow us to be recharged.
- Have things in your life that take your mind elsewhere in a way that brings renewal and a refreshed perspective.
- Pay attention to what you eat. Eating well and exercising helps keep both the mind and body in balance.
- Be careful about how you “talk” to yourself. Positive self-messages are very important.
- Have positive people in your life. People you can trust and open up to.
Articles in Upcoming Issues
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Thanks for the work you do supporting our communities.