Healing a Community: Lessons for Recovery after a Large-Scale Trauma
School shootings. Mass murders. Fires. Floods. The ways that disaster can strike are many. To the physical devastation must be added the emotional impact of events that affect many people and disrupt the soul of the community itself. Heroic as first responders typically are, there are losses that must be attended to over time in order for communities to return to functioning well.
Mass trauma has made entire towns and cities into monuments of heartbreak and loss. Here is a book to guide the communal recovery.
After the horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, local caregivers, civic leaders, and first responders had the daunting task of navigating emotional and physical trauma as they stitched their community back together. The recovery process takes years, and as the coordinator of the Newtown Recovery and Resiliency Team, Melissa Glaser managed the town’s response. She developed a unique set of therapeutic and transferable best practices that other communities can learn from. The impact of an intense media presence and the long-term financial needs of recovery work are also included in Healing a Community. Through heartbreaking insights, Glaser conveys the importance of meeting traumatized individuals where they are at in the process. Lessons learned in Newtown can be used to create a universal community mental health disaster plan so leaders, therapists, and families know what to do the next time tragedy occurs.
"Communities everywhere can learn from Glaser's work in Newtown." --Anne Weisman, PhD, Director of Wellness & Integrative Medicine of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Medicine
Author: Melissa Glaser, MS, LPC