Trauma Response

There are 4 entries in this Category.

Charlottesville, VA Update

CharlottesvillePic1Charlottesville, Virginia. In the aftermath of the white supremacist march and violence in Charlottesville, the UU Trauma Response Ministry has received requests for trauma response follow-up. We’ve also been asked to provide training in Critical Incident Stress Management (the gold standard for training trauma responders). To fill a need that falls between direct trauma response and the gold-standard training for responders, the UUTRM Board is considering whether to offer a training specifically for pastoral care teams to help them better serve members who have been strongly affected by traumatic events, whether in person or via the media.


In the wake of the violence and hatred that occurred when white supremacists gathered and brought tiki torches, weapons and terror in Charlottesville, many congregations are wondering what will happen and how can they respond as the white supremacist organizations plan similar rallies and threats of violence in cities and towns across the country.

CharlottesvillePic2Unitarian Universalist congregations are responding to confront and counteract white supremacy. The Unitarian Universalist Trauma Response Ministry (UUTRM) is one resource for your congregation as you prepare, perhaps joining with other organizations and interfaith efforts in your locale. Or you may want assistance as your members cope with the aftermath of a critical incident and its impact on your lay members and your professional staff.

We are composed of Unitarian Universalist ministers and lay members of UU congregations who are trained in trauma response and who desire to assist those involved in critical incidents like the one in Charlottesville. We are here for your congregation when you need us.

We offer assistance such as:
❖ Direct, on-site ministry at the scene, whether national or local
❖ Phone or virtual consultation and support
❖ Crisis intervention for those who have experienced various levels of an incident that can be traumatic
❖ Hospitality and respite care for survivors and their families
❖ Crisis intervention and other stress management skills
❖ Administrative assistance, telephone answering, on-site greeters, office support
❖ Pulpit supply for ministers engaged in trauma response

Often, people know UUTRM responds to natural disasters like Hurricanes Katrina and Superstorm Sandy but we also respond when called in the face of racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, white supremacy and direct action in which our congregations are involved. We are here if you need us before, during and after a critical incident to help people in our congregations with good coping skills that may mitigate later emotional difficulties. We know that people are naturally resilient and may need some assistance as they deal with threats to their sense of hope and meaning. The UUTRM team is here for you when you need us.

UUTraumaLogoUUTRM was formed in 2002 to provide timely, multilevel, culturally sensitive spiritual care to survivors of mass disasters and other critical incidents that may lead to significant trauma. We work to educate individuals, congregations and other groups on culturally and spiritually sensitive responses to critical incidents and mass disaster. We provide resources including the deployment of critical incident stress management (CISM) teams to assist congregations and the communities they work within in the wake of mass disaster and other significant critical incidents.

We have a toll free line that will reach a member of UUTRM who is on call and available 24/7: 888-760-3332.

In the spirit of our Unitarian Universalist faith,

Unitarian Universalist Trauma Response Ministry Board members


Hurricane Harvey Update


Hurricane Harvey. On the immediate horizon are support needs following Hurricane Harvey. While we don’t yet know specifically how we will be asked to serve, it’s almost a certainty that we will have requests from some of the many congregations that are affected. We’ve been in touch with our point of contact at the UUA and Congregational Life staff in the Southern Region. In addition, our On-Call Lead has been working to email and/or call as many ministers and leadership in UU congregations potentially impacted by the storm and flooding. As of 08/29/17 we do not have any requests, which is no surprise; it’s very early in this disaster—it’s still raining and the water is still rising in some places.

HurricaneHarveyPic2Note to UUTRM Responders. We expect there will be a need for UUTRM response to Hurricane Harvey in the coming weeks. When we have a specific request we will reach out to UUTRM responders. When a request comes in, we often have to be on the move quickly; flexibility is the keystone in crisis response. Responders, please keep watching your email and phone for updates.


Important Links:
UUA/UUSC Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund
How to Donate Money and Other Aid to Communities of Color in Houston
Here Are Ways You Can Help People During Hurricane Harvey
When disaster relief brings anything but relief


Also, from TX

Thousands in our state are suffering because of Hurricane Harvey and spillover flooding since this weekend. Our Revolution Texas members are among them. Many of us around the state are wondering how we can volunteer and donate to help the many in hard-hit areas. We all know that showing solidarity in trying times is an important part of what we do and why we do it as progressive populists.

In the Houston Area
If you have a flat-bottomed boat or a high-water vehicle, you are urgently needed. Call 713-881-3100.  If you are in need of immediate help from a life-threatening emergency call 9-1-1.If you are or know others in need of non-emergency help call 3-1-1 in Houston or 2-1-1 in nearby areas.

Outside Houston
Local relief groups, progressive organizations, unions, and immigrant rights groups are already mobilizing grassroots relief efforts. Here is a list of groups and efforts you can plug into to help:

The Texas Workers Relief Fund. A union-relief effort by the Texas AFL-CIO, donations are tax-deductible. The state fed has been closely coordinating with the Houston and Corpus-area central labor councils to provide material aid.

RNRN Disaster Relief Fund. Our ally the National Nurses United organizes medical relief for major disasters through this fund.

Texas DSA. DSA chapters (also allies) have been organizing both volunteers and those in need at a grassroots level. Sign up here to offer help (or ask for it) or donate directly to Houston DSA.

Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group Fund. If you want to donate directly for relief in the Coastal Bend towns hit directly by the hurricane.

Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. Houston’s mayor has set up this fund to assist with victims of Houston’s ongoing and increasingly dangerous flooding. Donations are tax-deductible.

The extreme enforcement policies of SB4 and ICE have put immigrant workers in increased harm’s way through the crisis. Immigrant and refugee groups such as RAICES in San Antonio are moving to get aid directly to immigrant families. Jumping in now is just the beginning.

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Brunswick, Maine Fire Fund
Fire in In the early morning hours of June 6th our sister Unitarian Universalist Church in Brunswick Maine experienced a devastating fire at the rear of their sanctuary. Their minister, Rev. Sylvia Stocker, and shocked members of their church and community stood outside and watched as fire fighters worked for many hours to put out  the flames that enveloped their sanctuary.? Though their spirits are undaunted, our friends in Brunswick need our  help to rebuild and return to their church home.
Please consider a donation to the Brunswick UU Fire Fund.  To send a contribution directly to the district office, please mail to NNED, Brunswick Fire Fund, 10 Ferry St., Ste #318, Concord, NH 03301

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Tragedy in Knoxville

On Sunday, July 27, 2008, a man opened fire on the congregation of the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, during a children’s performance. Two people were killed and seven were injured. The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations and the Trauma Response Ministry responded:

Pastoral Letter from UUA President, Rev. Bill Sinkford

Response to the Knoxville Shooting

Knoxville Community Gathers to Honor the Victims

“Supporting Our Friends in Knoxville” blog site

Donate to help the relief effort