Crisis Response Unit

Crisis Response Unit Overview

The Office of School Safety is pleased to share information about our newly established Crisis Response Unit. The Crisis Response Unit, managed by Kati Garner, exists to assist schools in overall crisis management, from preparing and preventing incidents to responding to and helping with a school’s post crisis needs. The Unit is composed of experienced school mental health professionals vetted and trained by the Office of School Safety.


The Crisis Response Unit is available to train school staff in best practices in crisis prevention and response. The Crisis Response Unit offers training in the PREPaRE model, established by the National Association of School Psychologists for educators, free of cost to you. The following two workshops are available to your school:


  • Workshop One, Comprehensive School Safety Planning Prevention Through Recovery: This one-day workshop, designed primarily for administrators and safety team members, addresses critical components needed to develop, exercise and evaluate safety and crisis teams plans. 
  • Workshop Two, Mental Health Crisis Interventions. Responding to an Acute Traumatic Stressor in SchoolsThis two-day workshop, designed primarily for mental health professionals, helps to develop the knowledge and skills required to provide immediate mental health crisis interventions to students, staff, and school community members who have been exposed to an acute traumatic stressor.


Additional trainings include:

Psychological First Aid (PFA)

  • An evidence-based approach to help students, staff, and community members in the immediate aftermath of a crisis. 
  • Options for PFA range from a brief two-hour training of the essentials of the model up to a full-day comprehensive training. 



  • Provides information on pediatric distress and developmentally appropriate strategies for responding to children in crisis.
  • A brief training for educators on how to calm students after a critical incident. 


Critical Incident Group Debriefing (CIGD) for staff 

  • Critical Incident Group Debriefing or CIGD, is a short-term group intervention process that focuses on an immediate event.
  •  CIGD is one of several methods that may be utilized to lessen the likelihood of people experiencing symptoms of trauma and stress after a critical incident.
  • This group debriefing process provides a place for participants to talk and share experiences, and for the facilitator to teach and provide information about the impact of critical incidents.


Finally, Crisis Response Unit staff are available, for a limited time per incident, to assist in the initial recovery period following a crisis incident when additional mental health resources are needed.



Please reach out to Kati Garner at kati.garner@state.co.us for further information or to request services offered by the Crisis Response Unit for your school or district. We look forward to serving our Colorado schools.