Why did Soulsafe begin?
Soulsafe’s founder and Executive Director, Natalie Larson, was trained in Critical Incident Stress Management shortly after the September 11th attacks on the East Coast. She received further training in Peer to Peer Debriefing but was either never activated by the training organization or call outs for volunteers were in cities far away requiring resources that she did not have for travel expenses. She felt deep frustration that her skills were not being utilized.
Soulsafe was born in the week after the April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. Natalie realized that the church was an untapped resource for coming alongside those who have been deeply affected by a critical incident. Christians throughout New England were asking to help but there was no organized pathway for deployment and more importantly there was ignorance on offering effective help. People WANT to help in the aftermath of a traumatic event, but are often ill-equipped and therefore can potentially do more harm than the good they wish to offer.
Many Christians think that sharing the gospel is all that is needed: “if we lead these folks to Jesus all their problems will be solved”. Jesus ultimately IS the answer, but as in the case of a starving man, his stomach needs to be filled and his body needs to be hydrated before he can even HEAR the message of hope that Jesus provides.
In the aftermath of a traumatic event, a person is so stress overloaded that they cannot hear the life giving message of the gospel. They cannot breathe! They cannot think! They cannot function!
Soulsafe Basic was developed to provide specific training on what happens to a person physically, emotionally and spiritually when someone is under extreme stress and ways to mitigate that stress in healthy ways.