Submitted by Dana Benn, Treatment Specialist
SCI Laurel Highlands hosted the pilot training for the new Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) program within our institutions. CISM coordinators Anthony Rost and Lamar Ballard presented the training to CISM team members from SCI Laurel Highlands, SCI Somerset and SCI Pine Grove. In all, approximately 50 people attended the training. Participants were immersed not only in the new policies and procedures which will govern the CISM teams, but also in participatory drills and discussions which were aimed at adequately preparing members for what they will face as CISM team members.
An atmosphere of cooperation and learning from each other was fostered throughout the training, and attendees were able to develop relationships with the other teams in our area, which will facilitate smoother operations when we are asked to work together. One of the most useful parts of the training was the opportunity to tour Laurel Highlands in teams made up of CISM members from each of the three institutions. It served to not only allow staff to understand the role of CISM within the institution, but also to allow team members to become comfortable working in an unfamiliar environment.
Good food and fellowship were enjoyed on both days, with team members from all three institutions contributing food and drink.
A huge thank you to everyone who helped to make this training a success: Anthony and Lamar for the fantastic training, all who helped contribute food and drink, and those who helped with set-up and clean-up each day!