By Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News
TULALIP – In the aftermath of the school shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School last October, where five students died, including the shooter, the Marysville Tulalip communities have worked tirelessly to stitch a sense of normalcy back into their lives. Through a community recovery team, comprised of members of the Marysville School District, Tulalip Tribes, City of Marysville, Marysville and Tulalip leaders and community members, a coordinated community-wide support net has been created for families and victims of the tragedy.
Support has been offered to families and victims through trainings, resources and community meetings. Families and victims can also find support representation from Victims Support Services, Ministerial Association, Volunteers of America, American Red Cross, Marysville YMCA and United Way of Snohomish County.
The message the recovery team wants the community and youth to know is, “something has happened to you, but something isn’t wrong with you. We are here to help you.”
During the days following the tragedy a strategic effort was created with the help of the International Trauma Center to develop a long-term plan to build resiliency and improve the communities long-term holistic health. The plan is designed according to the unique partnership of Marysville and Tulalip to properly address the needs of the communities.
Throughout the next year, monthly trainings will be held along with meetings that introduce the goals of the team, which include a reduction in self-injurious behavior in youth, integrating culture and education, and increasing access to primary health care to reduce acute long-term effects of psychological trauma.
A list of available resources and community meeting events can be found at the Marysville/Tulalip United website, www.mtunited.org, including crisis numbers for counseling, support services and suicide prevention.
In Tulalip, the Tulalip Trauma Response Network has scheduled a series of trainings that include trauma informed care seminars that educate about emotional management, de-escalation techniques and workforce protection, along with how to decrease the use of coercion, restraint, seclusions and isolation to reduce violence in the community.
Other trainings include psychological first aid and post-traumatic stress management available to councilors, youth workers and natural healers and leaders in the community.
Suicide prevention efforts continue with the addition of the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scales and Gatekeeper training. This training educates community members to screen for suicide to foster targeted intervention. Sources of Strength is another suicide prevention program being implemented that utilizes peer leaders to enhance protective factors to reduce suicide in youth.
For youth under six years old, educators are being trained through Rainbowdance, a classroom-based program that helps children overcome challenges related to stress and trauma to promote violence prevention in younger children. For youth seven years and older, programs such as the Classroom-Community-Culture Based Intervention is effective in developing tools that will help older youth overcome challenges and relate to others.
Intensive outpatient treatment is also available for youth and teenagers who have suffered trauma and violence and need a more intensive support to recover.
Social media is a key component that the recovery team is examining, in how youth use and respond through different social media platforms. Seminars are available for parents and interested community members to learn how to navigate different social media sites. The goal is to educate parents and community members to look for suicidal comments and report them to the proper channels to intercept suicidal behavior in youth. A community-led social media reporting system is being developed that will create a direct channel that parents and community members can report abuse, suicidality and bullying.
For more information on support services available to the Marysville Tulalip community please visit the Community Recovery Team’s website www.mtunited.org. You can also contact the Tulalip Tribes Behavioral Health team for support for children, youth, and adults in coping skills, support groups, and mental health counseling at 360-716-4400.
Brandi N. Montreuil: 360-913-5402; firstname.lastname@example.org