Baker College of Muskegon recently hosted a Vicarious Trauma Conference along with sponsoring partners HealthWest and Services of Hope. The half-day conference targeted first responders and those working in the health care and criminal justice fields, providing information about what vicarious trauma is and how to know when it is impacting staff.
The approximately 120 attendants included a mix of students and members from the community.
Speakers for the event included Derik Van Baale; Christine Candia, BSN, RN; Chief Edward Viverette, North Muskegon Police Dept.; Lindsay Lassanske, LMSW, Child Welfare Specialist; Chief Alan Styles, Dalton Fire Department, and Marion Oakes-Hunter, Certified Addiction Counselor.
The keynote address by Derik Van Baale, Iraq war veteran and Suicide Prevention Coordinator at the Department of Veteran's Affairs, provided an overview of this crucial issue, and the panel of professionals and first responders further explored the impact of stress and trauma and how first responders and helping professionals can effectively care for themselves.