For All Seasons’ Center for Learning has been holding trainings for its staff, focusing on populations who experience trauma such as human trafficking, veterans’ issues, and the stress of being a first responder. Most recently, the Center completed training around the topic of human trafficking. The training, “Polaris Human Trafficking 101,” covered how human trafficking happens, understanding human trafficking victims, and recognizing human trafficking in our communities, as well as featured stories of human trafficking survivors.
The Center for Learning also trained 100% of the For All Seasons team in cultural competency around service members, veterans, and their families. The “Trained Military Assistance Provider (TMAP)” training curriculum covered topics such as healthcare providers, helping children of veterans, and crisis response and suicide among military members and veterans. The course also featured service members and veterans telling their stories of military-related trauma and realizing they needed mental health help. One of the instructors was Dr. Shauna Springer, Senior Director of Suicide Prevention and Postvention Initiatives, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.
The first responder training is taught by Jeff Thompson, Ph.D., an Adjunct Associate Research Scientist in the Psychiatry Department at Columbia University Medical Center/New York State Psychiatric Institute. Previously, as a detective with the NYPD, he developed the NYPD’s peer support training. His research includes hostage negotiation in terrorist incidents, suicide prevention, resilience, and the use of effective communication during crisis incidents. Additional guest speakers from other first responder agencies, as well as first responders, will share their own lived experiences with work-related mental health.
“At For All Seasons, we have a deep commitment to ensuring the cultural competence and expertise of our team. As a community behavioral health and rape crisis center, we are the trauma-certified safety net for our community. Trainings like these demonstrate the agency’s commitment to being ready to serve the needs of the community members who walk through our doors,” comments Lauren Weber, Vice President of Strategy and Development.
According to Lesa Lee, Chief Clinical Officer at For All Seasons, “The trainings give our staff a chance to learn about a work culture or life experiences of someone who may have experienced trauma – whether it is through being trafficked, military experience, or being a first responder.”
“I have a first responder who is a friend who explained that it’s like you have rocks that you put in your backpack and if you don’t start to unload some of those rocks or experiences then they pile up and become unmanageable. For All Seasons clinicians are becoming knowledgeable about ‘the rocks’ in people’s backpacks to better serve our client populations.”
“It is important to understand the culture that anyone comes from. Whether it is specific to race, socioeconomic status, the community they live in, or their jobs. If we see things only through the lens that we have then we miss opportunities to understand and help others,” she adds.
“At For All Seasons, we want to set our clinicians up to use the skills and strategies they know with all of our clients. These trainings allow us to dig in and do the difficult work with a new level of knowledge.”
These For All Seasons trainings are supported in part by grants. “Polaris Human Trafficking 101” is supported by the Regional Navigator Grant from the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services. “Trained Military Assistance Provider” (TMAP) training is supported by the Sheila E. Hixson Behavioral Health Services Grant. The first responders training is supported by the Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund (MAERDAF) from the Rural Maryland Council.
For further information on the Center for Learning’s trainings, contact Lauren Weber, Vice President of Strategy and Development at [email protected].