Crisis counselors help students in times of need

        When a significant event happens, Lincoln Public Schools crisis counselors jump into action, offering emotional support to students and staff.

        Those counselors talked about the work they do at the latest LPS learning lunch.

        "We go into the school and we work with students to provide support. What we really want to do is provide a day that looks normal even though the day is very difficult for students, we want to walk into the school and provide a calm presence," said Ursula Vernon-Hansen the coordinator for the LPS crisis team.

        A crisis does not only deal with natural disasters, they offer support for everything from sexual assault to the death of a student or staff member.

        Trauma affects everyone differently, so the crisis’s team main goal is to provide a calm environment where students feel supported.

        "The crisis team then provides that place for students to go and talk and process what they’re feeling and work through grief in a healthy way so that we minimize the trauma that can develop if grief is not appropriately addressed," said Brenda Leggaidro a crisis counselor for LPS.

        While the crisis team focuses mainly on students, they also offer support to parents and staff.

        "We want them to be able to cry, to show, to express and to set a very healthy example for students who are grieving," said Vernon-Hansen.

        The team knows their support alone might not be enough. They provide additional resources so anyone struggling can properly deal with their emotions.

        "In addition we may refer them to morning cop or any other resources in the community to make sure they are handling the crisis as best as possible," Vernon-Hansen said.

        They do have a 24 hour hotline and the number is 402-473-7954.