How the TLC Can Benefit Your School

The Traumatic Loss Coalitions for Youth Program (TLC) at UMDNJ- University Behavioral HealthCare is New Jersey’s primary youth suicide prevention program and is funded by the Department of Children and Families, Division of Child Behavioral Health Services. The TLC is an interactive, statewide network that offers education, collaboration and support to professionals working with school-age youth. The dual mission of the TLC is excellence in suicide prevention and trauma response assistance to schools following unfortunate losses due to suicide, homicide, accident and illness. This is accomplished through county, regional and statewide conferences, training, consultation, and technical assistance. The purpose is to ensure that those working with youth from a variety of disciplines and programs have up-to-date knowledge about mental health issues, suicide prevention, trauma response, and resiliency enhancement. Since its inception, the TLC has trained over 15,000 individuals throughout the state with the hope of saving lives and promoting post trauma healing and resiliency for the youth of New Jersey.

The TLC has operated as a county-based collaborative for 11 years with a TLC Coordinator in each county. These county Coordinators provide meetings throughout the year bringing together school personnel, mental health clinicians, juvenile justice personnel, law enforcement officials, social service agencies, child welfare workers and many others who work closely with youth. The meetings are effective forums for reviewing crisis events, identifying service needs, and providing professional development through the inclusion of an educational component. Speakers for the educational component are experts in topics pertinent to the needs of youth. In addition, the Coordinators often work collaboratively with other agencies in their respective counties to co-sponsor workshops and conferences that are consistently well attended and positively evaluated.

The Coordinators also work within their counties to direct a Lead Response Team (LRT) or in the case of a few counties, support an existing one. These teams remain available to assist schools when needed following a traumatic loss event. The members of these teams are trained in Psychological First Aid, Post Traumatic Stress Management (PTSM), Classroom Based Interventions (CBI) and Traumatic Incident Interventions (TII) by Robert Macy, PhD, through the Center for Trauma Psychology. In addition, many members of theses teams have obtained the required training provided by the Division of Mental Health Services (DMHS) Disaster and Terrorism Branch enabling them to be certified as a NJ Disaster Response Crisis Counselor (DRCC) and assist in a state declared disaster if called upon by the DMHS.

How Can The TLC Benefit Your School?

Since each county has a TLC Coordinator who receives support and technical assistance from the TLC Central Office, there are many ways the TLC’s can work collaboratively with your school to fulfill mandates and provide training to further your mission. The TLC’s are available to:

  • Provide county coalition meetings for the purpose of networking, disseminating information, and reviewing best practices in the areas of mental health, traumatic loss and suicide prevention. Educator Professional Development Credits are available for attending the educational component of these meetings.

  • Coordinate a two hour Suicide Awareness Training for Educators to fulfill the professional development requirement, per N.J.S.A. 18A:6-11.

  • Provide training in Post Traumatic Stress Management (PTSM), Classroom-Based Interventions (CBI), and Traumatic Incident Intervention (TII) for crisis team members to assist in implementing the postvention provisions in the New Jersey Department of Education’s document titled School Safety and Security Manual: Best Practice Guidelines. This enables schools to have one or more well-trained staff onsite to provide effective postvention services for students and staff in the event of a traumatic loss or larger critical incident.

  • Provide regional training workshops in suicide assessment skills for school based clinicians and counselors. Regional workshops are provided at no cost. A fee will be charged for training provided for individual schools or school districts.

  • Provide county, regional and statewide trainings and conferences in topics relevant to working with youth that are open to educators and school counselors, as well as school and community based clinicians. Many of these trainings are free of charge and others have a nominal fee.

  • Provide Professional Development training workshops for schools. Some topics include: Trauma and Grief in Youth, Managing Sudden Loss in the Schools, Helping a Grieving Child, Developing Your School’s Crisis Plan.

  • Schools can request at no charge, assistance from the TLC’s Lead Response Teams (LRT) in the event of a critical incident or traumatic loss. Assistance can range from phone consultation and support to the provision of on-site services.

  • Consult with schools about evidenced-based and best practice suicide curricula available for youth to fulfill the requirements of the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards.

The TLC invites all who work closely with youth to become part of this dynamic network in their county.

For additional information on our training programs for schools and a list of the County Coordinators, please visit TLC’s webpage at http://ubhc.umdnj.edu/brti/TLC.htm or contact the TLC at 732-235-2810. To be placed on our email list please contact Dotty Rodrick at rodricda@umdnj.edu.