NEW JERSEY: N.J.-funded experts get the call when tragedy strikes

February 06, 2015

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News
Speaker:  New Jersey

The Record

Each county in New Jersey has a trained, state-coordinated crisis team that is ready to respond in the event of a traumatic event affecting children. The Traumatic Loss Coalition for Youth (TLC)’s focus is on trauma response and suicide prevention after losses due to suicide, homicide, accident, or illness. Funded by the state and run by Rutgers-Behavioral Health Care, TLC certifies team members who complete a three-day training – often school psychologists and guidance counselors who want to be able to provide trauma response in their own schools – and gives monthly refresher meetings in each county. A school can invite a TLC team to help children after a traumatic event, and the team can also provide contacts with local resources and ongoing support for school-based staff. TLC, which started in 2000, is the only such trauma response program in the country that is overseen by a state coordinator to assure consistency in trainings over time and across locations.

Spark Extra: Postvention in the aftermath of a suicide is important to reduce the chance of more deaths. After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools is a practical resource for schools facing such a crisis.