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franklin county times

Crisis response teams train
others to help victims

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
July 13, 2003
Members of the National Organization for Victim Assistance came to town Wednesday for crisis response training to help residents deal with grief, fear and anger after the Lockheed Martin shootings.
They were scheduled to stay through Saturday.
Members of the Arkansas Crisis Response Team in Meridian included Scott Sasser, the team manager. Sasser is an ordained minister, a certified school counselor and a certified crisis responder.
He answered the following questions for The Meridian Star.
The Meridian Star: Who are you training to respond to the crisis?
Scott Sasser: We spent one evening doing a training session with clergymen in the area and some of the mental health providers.
The Star: How are people receiving help?
Sasser: What we are trying to do is pull together a network so people know the resources in the area. People of faith have their pastors, that's why we spent time with them in understanding crisis management and the proper response to that. Counseling is going to be a long-term thing for some people. We're trying to get people pointed in the right direction. Anyone wanting information on resources available can call the Wesley House Community Center at (601) 485-4736.
The Star: How long will crisis response teams work here?
Sasser: Our understanding is that there will be a request for other teams to come in the following days and weeks. NOVA teams only go where we are asked to go.
The Star: Based on what you have seen, how are we coping so far as a community?
Sasser: What we've talked about as a team is Meridian has a lot of good things going on. There are a lot of resources out there. It has been kind of confusing to get them to pull together so they are organized, but the spirit has been great. Meridian is going to come through this because it wants to. There's still a lot of hurt that's going to come because that's natural, but it is a very hopeful situation.