Green Cross Academy Collaborates to Create Support Groups for First Responders

The Green Cross Academy of Traumatology (GCAT) is collaborating with the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress (AAETS) to help in their efforts to create online support and education groups for physicians, nurses, healthcare workers, and others on the frontlines dealing with COVID-19. 

Note: Dr. Benjamin Keyes, the Director Center for Trauma and Resiliency Studies and the Director of Training and Internships (Eastern States) for DMU’s School of Counseling, serves as the Executive Director for the Green Cross Academy of Traumatology.

The GCAT has a unique focus on disaster stress so for GCAT members we are looking for both clinicians as well as those certified at the various GCAT certifications. For example, those certified at the Compassion Fatigue Educator and Therapist levels can conduct groups geared towards mitigating stress and teaching relaxation techniques.

We are asking our members and friends of Green Cross Academy to donate one and a half hours a week to create a Support Group that will allow doctors, nurses, medical staff, and all first responders (police, firefighters, EMT’s, dispatchers, etc.) to have a place to drop in once a week to vent, air out, share supportive activities, debrief, and to learn about stress reduction techniques and compassion fatigue. This is not a therapeutic relationship, nor is this a therapy or process group. This is a Support Group. We are attempting with other organizations to come, to network the United States to provide this much needed service. We are asking you to consider making the room for this and we will coach you through the process. Start by registering with AAETS

To qualify you must have a Zoom account that is Professional Level or above. You can also use other modalities as long as they are secure. As a facilitator you and/or another colleague (2 Licensed MH Therapists (PhD, LCSW,LPC, LMFT, Certs. Pastoral Counselor) or Certified Compassion Fatigue Specialists, Field Traumatologists or Certified Clinical Traumatologists) set a time in the week the group will meet. Please click here to access a general flyer that can be used to promote these groups. The Support Groups are FREE! This is a donation of time to your community and to those working to get us through the crisis of Pandemic. This is what you can do to make a BIG difference and contribute to the effort to heal the country. This will be a 1.5 hour online weekly event. When a GCAT member signs up, we will be notified. In fact, we will be sharing the list as we will be placing your group and times and location on both websites in order to steer those interested to your locations. Please remember that this is not therapy. If you are interested, please click here

By adding an attachment for signing up, you control those coming into your group. We are working on a disclaimer that participants will sign acknowledging that attendance does not create a therapeutic relationship. That practitioners are not liable for the content nor actions/behaviors of participants though basic rules will apply and that a Support Group is NOT Therapy or Counseling. The above organizations’ goal is to coordinate efforts to increase the support available to healthcare workers and first responders. 

By submitting your application, you are aware that your information may be shared. You are also aware that these organizations will not attest to your skills or be responsible for the services you provide. The organizations advise those providing services to not engage in psychotherapy or other medical types of interventions and to limit services to supportive/educational interventions.

As the president of AAETS, Dr. Brad Lindell, says: “The above organizations’ goal is to coordinate efforts to increase the support available to healthcare workers and first responders.”

If you have any questions, please contact the main office at

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