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Recovery And Resiliency Team Grant Extended, Survey Results Positive



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Newtown’s Recovery and Resiliency Team (RRT) recently learned that a federal grant sustaining the six-member community support and intake system for those suffering posttraumatic issues following the Sandy Hook tragedy has been extended for an additional three months.

RRT Community Outreach Liaison Melissa Glaser, LPC, told The Newtown Bee this week that a grant that was supposed to lapse on December 31, was extended to March 31. If new grants or funding streams become available, the RRT may be able to continue its work beyond that date, or may reconfigure its personnel or scope of services to maximize its ability to serve those most in need of assistance beyond next spring.

Ms Glaser also shared the results of a one-year survey of 87 families or individuals receiving services from or through the RRT.

“People overwhelmingly voiced that a local and direct liaison was invaluable to them, with 75 percent of respondents saying their home challenges have become more manageable as a result of our support and programs,” Ms Glaser said. “At the same time, 21.4 percent are still struggling, many in relationships among family members and friends. We also know some of these families are still facing challenges finding the right services and supports.”

According to the survey results, 75 percent of those responding said that RRT-related services have been either helpful or extremely helpful with family relationships, while 70 percent said services helped with relationships among friends.

A little more than half of those surveyed said their feelings about self are improving, Ms Glaser noted, and more than 25 percent said they still had a challenged ability to enjoy themselves, indicating to the team that “there is still work to be done.”

Among other key responses are:

*45.9 percent were receiving support themselves; 43.5 percent for a minor family member; and 10.6 percent for a nonminor family member

*36.9 percent received a referral to the RRT through local school personnel; 14.3 percent through a friend; 16.7 percent through a therapist; with the balance receiving their initial referral through a family member, clergy, physician, local agency websites, or other means.

*67.4 percent received referrals to individual therapists; 34.9 percent were referred for financial support; 18.6 percent for information or education; and 12.8 percent for social services.

*Nearly 90 percent said the treatment they received or are receiving is helpful, and to their satisfaction; and 85 percent were able to follow through on suggestions made by the team.

*97.6 percent said they would recommend the RRT to other family or community members if service was needed.

Personal Comments Commend

Among respondents, 38 opted to offer additional personal comments ranging from a simple “thank you,” to notes of appreciation for specific RRT members.

Other personal comments stated:

*“I pursued tapping and energy work through a local therapist and found amazing relief from emotional distress. I had no idea how much I needed it [until] I felt the incredible results.”

*“Haven’t really taken advantage of counseling yet... thinking about an alternate care provider... NRRT as a program is fabulous and a godsend.”

*“I do hope that Newtown continues to receive financial support for therapy services as the effects of the tragedy may linger for many years.”

*“The folks at NRRT have been an invaluable support to me and my family. From navigating the ‘tangly’ web of insurance claims and reimbursements, to covering healing camps and activities that my children would not otherwise be able to attend, to monthly ‘Mom’s Group’ meetings with other parents of survivors from Ms Soto’s class, to special programs, recommendations and referrals for other services such as yoga and aromatherapy....the list goes on. This group provides services that may be difficult to quantify and measure, but goes MILES to helping the families they serve.”

*“NRRT was very responsive, and easily reachable. The coordinator we spoke to really listened to our issues. She took all of our requests into consideration, and helped us find exactly what we were looking for. And all close to home.”

*“We have been connected to and actively utilizing services since the creation of the organization. Knowing there is one central location where we will receive support, referrals, information, and overall care and concern from each and every Care Coordinator has been an integral part of our healing process. Should the community lose the NRRT there are countless individuals and families who will lose their primary support system.”

*“Having a specific place to go for direction in a time of chaos, confusion and helplessness can make a real difference in the toughest of times.”

*“The staff helped me to get a reimbursement for counseling our son received elsewhere. They could not have been more kind or responsive — they are truly an asset to the community.”

Joining Ms Glaser on the RRT are project manager Margot Robins; case managers Catherine Galda LCSW, Suzy DeYoung, MsEd, and Eileen Rondeau, RN; and clinical recovery leader Deb Del Vecchio-Scully, LPC.

The RRT offices are located at the main entrance to Fairfield Hills, at 28 Trades Lane. For more information, or to speak with a member of the team, call 203-270-4612, e-mail info@newtownrrt.org, or visit newtownrrt.org.

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