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FINDING HOPE: Nampa Family Justice Center offers mental support for staff

Posted at 2:35 PM, Nov 25, 2019
and last updated 2020-02-18 20:48:35-05

NAMPA, Idaho — In the last ten months, the Nampa Family Justice Center served nearly ten thousand people throughout the Treasure Valley.

According to the NFJC, they are “dedicated to ending family violence and sexual assault through prevention and response by providing comprehensive, client-centered services in a single location.

The center is full of social workers, counselors, and advocates ready to help clients when needed. According to Alyssa Groen, an employee at the Justice Center, she says when she first started at the center as an advocate, she was seeing, on average, a handful of patients a day each for a couple of hours.

Tragic, disturbing, and traumatizing are just some words that can be used to describe the stories these workers hear daily. The constant exposure to other people’s trauma poses a severe threat to employee’s emotional and mental health.

Jeannie Strohmeyer, the program manager at the NFJC, says, “vicarious trauma” is when, “you hear a story over and over and over again,” often those stories are tragic and traumatizing and “ you start taking on that trauma.”

To prevent, treat, or heal their workers from this toll, the NFJC has made investing in their employees a top priority.

Every six weeks, the center coordinates self-care meetings for all of its employees. These meetings include psychoeducation training so those in attendance can understand what self-care means and why it’s crucial to their health. These meetings also provide tips and tricks for preventing, treating, or healing from secondary trauma.