Project Chai

Support for grieving parents and children can help them adapt to a horrific loss. Structured programs can decrease the risk of maladaptive grief patterns developing in families.

Project CHAI supports the efforts of camp and school professionals to comfort children, help them express their grief, and provide opportunities for healing. Through seminars for professionals and direct intervention with children and families, Project CHAI helps give them the tools to cope with distressing situations.

As a volunteer, you will be trained to provide First Responder crisis interventions at the scene of a trauma and in the aftermath of a crisis event. These crisis interventions will include psychological, spiritual, cultural, interpersonal and existential aspects of reacting to a traumatic event. The training will be both didactic and interactive, and will include lecture presentation, role play and peer support.

The full training protocol has 4 segments which are covered in the following sequence:

1) Becoming a First Responder/ Crisis Volunteer
Introducing terms, concepts, role definition

2) Assessing and Intervening
Introducing objective and subjective factors at play during a crisis

3) The Tool Box
An introduction to intervention skills for various situations and populations (eg. children vs. adults, bereavement and loss, large scale catastrophe vs. localized trauma)

4) Helping the Helpers
Introducing resilience, coping, self care, team building, supervision

first responders

Project CHAI trains community volunteers to be “first responders,” the first people on the scene following a tragic death. First responders offer immediate emotional support to the family and work with members of the community to create a support system for the affected family.

Following a horrific fire in Flatbush, NY, 51,425 people tuned into YouTube presentations for succor and information given by grief experts and spiritual leaders convened by Chai Lifeline’s Project CHAI.

“There are no words with which to express my appreciation for all you’ve done to help our school and our community. The speed of your response was truly amazing. Each person that was affected by this tragedy was met as quickly as possible. Their emotional needs were assessed and quickly met.”