“When we support the heroes, they can save more children.”
Victim serving work takes an emotional toll, because exposure to violent materials and events, or victim stories is a requirement of many first responder and health and human service professions. Vicarious trauma can be catastrophic, resulting in depression, burn-out, and sometimes suicide.
The Innocent Justice Foundation (TIJF) has provided mental health and wellness programming focusing on vicarious trauma mitigation to support Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Teams and their affiliates across the country with our Supporting Heroes in Mental Health Foundational Training (SHIFT). SHIFT was one of the first programs to focus on officer wellness and vicarious trauma mitigation and has been solely funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention since 2009.
Psycho-educational programs are crucial in helping exposed individuals learn how to recognize vicarious trauma and cope with problems before they become severe or permanent. TIJF works to help by offering mental health and wellness training and resources to support professionals exposed to traumatic material and events in the work environment.
Our newest program, Helping Advocates Rebound from Trauma (HART), was launched in 2020 with the support of the Motorola Solutions Foundation. This program provides an education in mitigating secondary trauma experienced by those working in victim services and other professions who regularly experience exposure to the trauma of others. HART has served trafficking survivor advocates, law enforcement, EMT’s, child advocates, Mothers Against Drunk Driving advocates, and crisis hotline workers to name a few, with a goal of helping any organization or person who can benefit from this support.
Law enforcement, first-responders, and advocates of all kinds have had a tough couple of years, and the emotional toll has been heavy. We encourage you to learn more about what we do at www.innocentjustice.org, or email Lori@innocentjustice.org with questions. Please let us know if you would like to bring vicarious trauma mitigation training to your organization or have a desire to sponsor the training for others.
We invite you to join us for our free trainings and webinars offered during Mental Health Awareness month this May 2022. We will have links up to register on our website soon, or sign up for our email list here: http://eepurl.com/gAUPc9