With natural and man-made crisis events increasing in frequency, schools and school mental health providers are being called upon to meet both the physical safety and social-emotional needs of students following exposure to a crisis event. Part of that readiness is a well-developed crisis plan combined with healing-centered and resilience-promoting policies and programming. Crisis readiness is both a school- and community-wide imperative that ideally is part of a wider trauma-informed approach already used in many schools. It requires dedicated planning and intentional implementation for which school mental health providers are particularly well suited. Advanced planning for crisis readiness and response focuses on building comprehensive plans in collaboration with school and community partners while working to build individual and community-wide resilience through trauma-informed practices. While this training focuses primarily on early intervention, it addresses both single incident crises and ongoing crises (e.g., community violence), and therefore emphasizes the development of responsive systems and procedures that are iterative and create opportunities for ongoing learning and improvement. This training will review best practices for planning and highlight resources that will help school mental health providers build their toolboxes for crisis readiness and response.
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