An eight-person “Crisis Response Team” from Iowa started work yesterday in New York. They’ve been drawn from a pool of about 60 Iowans trained to help communities with emotional trauma. Marti Andersen, director of the Attorney General’s crime victim assistance division, is one of the counselors in New York. She says they’ll help people deal with their feelings, find resources locally, and become their own support group. The Iowans were summoned by “NOVA,” the National Organization for Victim Assistance. They’ll work with local clergy and mental-health professionals, teaching the particular skills they’ll need to counsel friends, relatives and co-workers of the victims in New York. Andersen says the Iowa counselors will be under some stress themselves, but their crisis-training skills even take that into account.Last thing every night, they’ll debrief each other and share support, and may still seek more when they get back home.
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