The Missoula County Attorney’s Office and trauma expert Andrew Laue have been recognized with an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties for their Secondary Trauma Group program. County Attorney Kirsten Pabst explains why this program is important.

“We are learning in this field that people who work and spend their careers working on the front line dealing with other people in trauma, such as victims, they need an avenue to process this secondary trauma in order to avoid pretty serious consequences of their own personally and professionally,” said Pabst.

Pabst says they are still learning as this program grows and she hopes to educate as many people as possible about the effects of trauma.

“The more people in the community that we can get educated in the effects of trauma and how it affects victim’s memories, how it affects their personal lives and their work lives is critical,” Pabst said. “As well as the secondary trauma and the effects that it has on people that are brave enough to stay in this job and do these trials and continue to do it with very little gratitude.”

According to Pabst, they plan to share what they have learned with other communities that are facing similar challenges.