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Response Network Offers Counseling for Community
updated: May 27, 2014, 9:20 AM

Source: Santa Barbara Response Network

The Santa Barbara Response Network (SBRN) is a grassroots volunteer community organization dedicated to offering psychological first aid and support for resilient recovery from crisis and trauma. This network of compassionate and supportive neighbors is activated when the community is confronted with extreme emotional distress and potentially traumatic consequences. We also provide information and training to local groups about Psychological First Aid (PFA) to bolster the effectiveness and resilience of their own systems (see for more information: http://www.nctsn.org/content/psychological-first-aid).

As a response to the killings and injuries impacting the community of Isla Vista and its surrounding cities, the SBRN has activated a communitywide response. We are coordinating our efforts with those of many other institutions and resources in our community, including law enforcement, medical facilities, educational institutions, and others too numerous to list. Both UCSB and Santa Barbara City College are providing every possible service and support to their students, faculty, staff, and alumni. The role of SBRN is to help provide psychological support to anyone in our community who is in need of such support and who would welcome receiving that support from our volunteers trained in PFA. We are careful not to duplicate or compete with available services, and because SBRN is not a mental health or counseling provider we limit our support to the following:

  • PFA as a means of supporting individuals and groups as they cope with the potentially overwhelming stress of tragic loss.
  • Facilitation of Coping Groups comprised of people who may need to deal with the impact of a tragic event for an extending period of time.
  • Information provided to the community at large about ways of taking care of one's self and others during times of tragic loss and heightened distress.

    SBRN offers the following tips for emotional well-being:

  • Monitor your own emotional well-being and take your feeling seriously as an accurate sign of how you are doing. Do not hesitate to seek support. Professionals and volunteers are available to help anyone who would welcome that support.
  • Do things that make you feel more hopeful or that generate positive emotions. This includes ordinary routines like eating balanced meals and getting enough sleep as well as positive activities like reading a good book or going for a walk in a neighborhood park.
  • Everyone processes traumatic stress differently. Talking with family members or close friends can help; reach out to those around you. This includes children, who can be sensitive to the emotions around them and may not know how to cope or ask for support.

    If you know of someone that needs support because of this tragic event, or you feel that a neighbor or community resident needs someone to talk to for PFA, resources, and support, please contact the SBRN by phone at:

    (805) 699-5608 or by email at: sbrncommand@gmail.com


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