Many state employees were directly or indirectly affected by the marathon bombings while working the front lines as the tragedy unfolded. The Committee for Public Council (Public Defender), Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the Executive Office of Human Services, UMass Dartmouth, Attorney General’s Office, District Attorney, Department of Children and Families, and Department of Developmental Services were all helped by critical incident debriefings that were provided under the steady hand of the GIC’s EAP Coordinator, Susan Cooper. For twenty years, Susan Cooper has provided help to employees affected by traumatic events. Her advice and counsel have assisted employees in coping with their feelings after such events
For the last fifteen years, Ms. Cooper has worked for United Behavioral Health, the mental health carrier for UniCare, Tufts Navigator, and Tufts Spirit members. Prior to that, she worked for Options Mental Health, the previous vendor. She will be working for Beacon Health Strategies, the GIC’s new mental health carve-out vendor effective July 1, helping to make for an easy transition of EAP benefits for supervisors and managers, including critical incident debriefings for employees affected by traumatic incidents. “After the tragic events of the bombings, we reached out to Sue to determine what crisis counseling services could be provided to our MEMA employees who responded to the explosions,” said Debra Tata, Human Resource Director for MEMA. “Sue and her team were very helpful to our staff during this crisis and she has also been a great resource to us in the past. We look forward to continuing our relationship with her.”
In addition to providing critical incident debriefings, Susan also provides managers and supervisors with the following resources:
- Management consultations, including how to deal with challenging behaviors and situations in the workplace
- Wellness trainings
- Grief support
- Stress management seminars
- Low morale support
- Intervention strategies for substance abuse, hygiene issues, threats of violence and suicidal concerns
“Sue has been a great resource for us at DCR both in moments of crisis and in the times of routine strain that is part of daily life for all of us in government and society in general,” said Gary Briere, Assistant Director for Recreation, MassParks. In a note to Dolores L. Mitchell, the GIC’s Executive Director, he stated, “Thank you for your support of our staff by ensuring that we have access to such excellent, professional services.”
GIC EAP Services for Managers, Supervisors and critical incident debriefings are free to all state agencies and participating municipalities. Susan Cooper, a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, will continue to be the GIC’s EAP Coordinator with the transition to the GIC’s new mental health carrier, Beacon Health Strategies.
Ms. Cooper’s contact information changes July 1. Managers and supervisors, if you can use help with EAP services for your employees, contact Sue at her new email address and phone number: firstname.lastname@example.org; 781-994-7424. Employees and retirees who need individual mental health benefits should contact your health plan.
This information provided by the Group Insurance Commission.