Critical Incident Response Team Now Available to Good Samaritan and the Community

Gaining Resilience in Trauma (GRIT) is the Critical Incident Response Team that can be utilized at Good Samaritan following a crisis event. A critical incident is anything that is out of the ordinary. It could be an unexpected individual outcome up to a mass casualty incident. Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) is a form of psychological first aid. The interventions typically take on a debriefing format. These allow those affected by a trauma to talk about their experience, feelings and receive closure. CISM has been shown to help in recovery of a trauma by stressing resilience. CISM can decrease absenteeism, accidents (personal and professional), and prevent escalating distress. These are not investigations, and the interventions are always voluntary and confidential.

“Critical Incident Stress Management, the technique used by the GRIT team, is designed to help reduce the long-term effects of exposure to trauma. Unlike physical injuries which are visible, psychiatric injuries are not readily seen, and may surface at a later time,” said Kristi Scherer, Executive Director of Samaritan Center. “We know that by providing this emotional first aid, individuals are able to more quickly return to their normal functioning, and the threat of developing PTSD is greatly reduced. Our small communities are not immune to tragedy, and the formation of this team fills a vital role in the mental health of our residents.”

The GRIT team has more than 25 team members, a majority of which are Good Samaritan employees. They received certification in a three-day training that took place in November 2017. The CISM training was made possible through a generous grant from the Good Samaritan Foundation.

“From time to time Good Samaritan Foundation is able to help sponsor training and certification for various departments throughout the organization such as GRIT,” said Gary Hackney, Director of Foundation. “Having the strongest, most well prepared staff and health care providers fits perfectly into our mission to provide excellent health care to the patients and families we serve. The training and certifications we are able to help facilitate are only made possible from the support of our generous donors.”

As a reminder, Good Samaritan staff can request the GRIT team response after a critical incident. The team is also available to respond to agencies, businesses and industries of the community. The service is provided free of charge.

To request a GRIT team response or for more information, please call the LaSalle Behavioral Health Unit at 812-885-3292. This phone line is answered 24 hours a day.