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NASMHPD Annual 2014 Commissioners Meeting Disaster Response: State Experiences and Lessons Learned. Dennis Marion, Deputy Secretary Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. >.

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nasmhpd annual 2014 commissioners meeting disaster response state experiences and lessons learned

NASMHPD Annual 2014 Commissioners MeetingDisaster Response: State Experiences and Lessons Learned

Dennis Marion, Deputy Secretary

Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health

and Substance Abuse Services

Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

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timeline

From a local news report posted at 7:23 a.m. on Wednesday, April 9, 2014:

One adult and 21 students were stabbed at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville Wednesday morning. Two other students were injured in the incident, officials said.Police said (a male student), 16, ran through the school, slashing or stabbing students with two 8-inch steak knives. The motive is under investigation.(The student) was arraigned and jailed without bail. (He) is charged with attempted homicide and aggravated assault. Authorities said he will be prosecuted as an adult.

Timeline

Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

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omhsas field office report

Currently they have a member from the 911 center on the West. Co DCORT team so the request for assistance was almost immediate.  They were contacted at 8:30 am yesterday morning for assistance from the 911 center and they immediately put 2 teams together and were on site. They also had the SAP team in addition on site.  They were onsite at the high school and middle school  for the entire day yesterday.  Then at 4:30 yesterday afternoon the school, DCORT, SAP and School counselors all met to develop a plan for the next 2 days. 

OMHSAS Field Office Report

Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

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the local view of events

The following observations were provided by individuals who participated in the local crisis response to the stabbings at Franklin Regional High School.

These individuals were part of the array of community efforts to support students, families, faculty, emergency responders and the community at large following the tragedy.

Their collective efforts are noteworthy and appreciated.

The Local View of Events

Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

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what went well

DCORT part of early response:

  • 911 interface - 911 knowing about DCORT
  • DCORT Team available - early and quick response
  • First DCORT responders became recognizable and were sought out
  • Assistance from Allegheny County DCORT
  • Other counties available as backup

What Went Well

Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

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What Went Well

The pool of resources available:

  • Able to deploy large number of people quickly
  • Large number of people willing to deploy
  • Employers/agencies allowing team members to go and were supportive
  • Flexibility of team members in juggling their schedules
  • Diverse people were connected early with first responders, teachers, students

Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

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What Went Well

Using the resources well:

  • Took stock of who could do what, specialties of team members, resources available
  • Having EAP person take the lead, especially with administration in the early days
  • Used employee assistance, student assistance, and student ambassador resources to assist
  • Had therapy dogs in the mix as well

Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

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What Went Well

Made thoughtful choices as events unfolded:

  • Met with many different people over the course of the deployment: teachers, students, families, 911, EMS, guidance counselors, athletic teams, family of assailant
  • Morning organizational meetings prior to the return full time to school for teachers and students
  • Set up opportunities individuals and families to return to school in steps

Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

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Items to Consider

  • Need for an expert to get involved…Who does that? Who are the experts?
  • Unable to provide information to faculty about students- not knowing to prepare for that
  • No one collecting credentials when there were so many different people responding (EAP, SAP, school based, DCORT)
  • Need to keep a command center of people who don’t directly respond

Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

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Items to Consider

  • Need to give people more/longer breaks
  • Set boundaries of what we can and can’t do, and for how long (need expert help with this)
  • Need to keep forward focus - help those in authority keep forward focus
  • Need for clerical support

Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

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Lessons Learned

  • Teachers want to know about the students and how they are doing
  • Need confidentiality statements
  • Need for weekly debriefing
  • Need command center
  • Learn team members’ strengths and what they are comfortable doing (command center vs. hands on)
  • Need for more specific policies, procedures, mission statement

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