The committee is currently in the process of reforming itself. Please contact either of the Co-Chairs for more information. Beth Leib can be reached at 415 461 1772 or email@example.com Dee Treshnell can be reached at 415 388 3988 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A HISTORY OF MARIN CAMFT's TRAUMA RESPONSE TEAM
In 1990 the MCAMFT board, headed by Board President, Daniel Sonkin, decided to establish a Disaster Response Team in the aftermath of the Loma Prieta Earthquake in October 1989. Those of us on the Board were frustrated in our efforts to help and became aware that our therapy skills were not enough to effectively respond during a disaster. We arranged for Diane Myers, RN, a nationally known expert in Disaster Mental Health to train a groups of interested LMFTs. Our DRT was headed by Daniel Sonkin until 1996, at which time Jacqueline Ladrech and Elizabeth Thompson became co-chairs of the team. At some point the teams name was changed to the Trauma Response Team.
Over the years the team had numerous trainings focusing on:
We also trained with the Red Cross because it is necessary to be associated with a responding organization in order to have access to victims.
Members of MCAMFT’s TRT have been able to give caring support to victims and first responders during many unfortunate disasters. We responded to the Firestorm in the Berkeley Hills, the Vision fire in Inverness, the Polly Klaas volunteer center, 101 California St. shooting in SF, various response efforts after 9/11, and most recently, to the Valley Fire in Lake County.
2015 has been an active year for the TRT. First of all, Elizabeth Thompson has retired from co-chairing the team after many years of dedicated work for the team and for the field of disaster mental health through her work with the Red Cross and the County of Marin. Thank you Elizabeth, for all that you have contributed.
In May and June members of the team participated in updated trainings with the Red Cross, and, now, they are all “on boarded”, and ready to respond with the Red Cross. In October we had a DMH/Critical Incident training given by Greg Child, LMFT. In the spring we are planning a meeting with Kate Garay, who is the MRC (Medical Reserve Corp) lead for Marin County. She is going to introduce the team to the possibility of working with the MRC. This would give us another responding organization to partner with. More detains on that meeting to come. It has been our team philosophy to continue to participate in trainings in order to be current and ready to respond to an event that we hope never happens.
In November I was able to help the victims of the Valley Fire through the Red Cross, the MRC and through CCN (Crisis Care Network). It was very sad to see the terrible devastation caused by the drought fueled, fast moving fire in Lake County. There were so many people who literally ran for their lives, and lost their homes, cars, businesses and sense of safety. It was very rewarding being able to play a small part in their recovery and journey to start rebuilding their lives. Unfortunately, their needs will be great and will continue for a long time.
Thanks to all who attended the fantastic workshop in late October held at the Marin Emergency Operations Center (EOP) 1600 Los Gamos, San Rafael and led ably by experienced trauma response veteran, Frank Cox. The overall topic was being prepared for “The Big One”. We had approximately 30 in attendance for the 4-hour presentation, which included an enlightening tour of the huge rooms that are set up for disaster response adjacent to another large room housing our community 911 call center. It is very impressive facility and well staffed. I hope that we can have a similar experience every two to three years to help team members have a clearer pulse on how our county operates.
As the new Trauma Response Team Chair, I inherit big shoes to fill for the wonderful dedication and service that Jacqueline Ladrech has supplied since our team inception in 1991. Our entire team thanks her and Elizabeth Thompson, who worked side-by-side for years teaching us. We are seeking to expand our team and add new members as the old guard is aging! I intend to have two team meetings a year and will work to provide one of those as a CEU workshop/training. Please consider joining our team today and contact me for an application. I intend to reach out to county psychologists to see if some might consider joining our team as well. While earthquakes are a constant potential disaster, we are vulnerable to other types of emergencies, as well.
The Oakland warehouse fire has affected us all on some level. Devastatingly sad. With the change in political climate and unknowns ahead many of our families and immigrant families in particular are on high alert and very fearful. School children of all ages are being traumatized. Perhaps our team can work to provide a pro bono benefit to offer help to the overloaded school counselors. I welcome your support, ideas and help to make our team even better. I also would like to emphasize that each team member should endeavor to be as well prepared as possible and not procrastinate on setting up their homes and cars for the unexpected!
THE TRAUMA AND DISASTER RESPONSE TEAM is currently in the process of reforming itself. Please contact either of the Co-Chairs for more information. Beth Leib can be reached at 415 461 1772 or email@example.com Dee Treshnell can be reached at 415 388 3988 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marin CAMFT Trauma and Disaster Response Team - Winter 2019
Committee Co-Chairs Dee Treshnell and Beth Leib
Co-Chairs, Beth Leib and Dee Treshnell, of Marin CAMFT’S Trauma and Disaster Response Team met one year ago with former leaders of the team to begin the process of continuing the work of this important and historic Marin CAMFT group.
At our first meeting, we developed goals of increasing membership, getting the team up to date in course work in Disaster Mental Health and Psychological First Aid training, establishing volunteer status with the Red Cross, and developing a sub-group within the team that would assist schools in crisis, trauma, and disaster response.
Since that time, we have increased membership, attended several Psychological First Aid and Disaster Mental Health courses, established an initial contact with several schools and begun to liaison with the Red Cross. Our team also recently initiated and sponsored our first Marin CAMFT course/training in Disaster Psychology and Response, led by Dana Nussbaum and Ron Reynolds, both established Disaster Mental Health instructors and responders. The course introduced mental health workers to the practical and psychological aspects of engaging in disaster response as a health clinician. We were delighted with the turn out and success of this event.
The team also held a meeting at the Mill Valley Community Center on March 22, which included both new and experienced members. Dennis Scremin, who is both a Red Cross liaison and a long-time TRDT member, informed the group about the benefits of aligning with the Red Cross and specifically about the courses offered. Another long-time member, Melinda Marmer reported to the group about Disaster Mental Health Response and working with children and trauma. We briefly reviewed the successes and challenges of the past year and set goals for 2019. The fact that we are moving forward and have a committed team is certainly a success. The major challenges ahead are to keep connections we have established and to expand our resources.
This year, with traumatic fires, floods and school events, we have learned the importance of having a team in place to serve local, statewide and national disasters. Collaboration is important in terms of bringing our agencies together to create a strong and diverse team that is ready to respond to the ever-increasing challenges of Disaster Response.
At this time, we would also like to thank members of the previous team (particularly Dennis Scremin and Jacqueline Ladrech) and the entire Marin CAMFT Board, who have supported us throughout this year as we re-establish a team that has historically been an important part of Marin CAMFT and the Red Cross.
We also wish to announce that the Trauma and Disaster Response Team is now on the Marin CAMFT website, again! The webpage with lots of useful info is accessible via an easy to find button on the home page or by clicking HERE.
We are excited about working with our team and putting plans in motion.