A major reason for the TIP Program is to prevent what mental health professionals call the “Second Injury.” The Second Injury is a victim’s perspective that the emergency system did not provide the support needed after a tragic event. Emergency personnel simply do not have the time to provide this support. In Orange County, they call TIP Volunteers who can prevent a second injury. In parts of the county which do not have a TIP Program, second injuries reported by victims are common.
Three Examples of Second Injuries
- An elderly gentleman, whose wife was hit and killed in a crosswalk, was not informed why she was left in the street for hours. To this day, the husband is still angry at “the system.”
- After a young man killed himself, his family was left to clean the bloody scene on their own. To this day, they wonder “why didn’t anyone help us with this awful task?”
- After a mother of four died in an emergency department, her family felt pressed by busy hospital staff into choosing a mortuary. To this day, the family regrets the hurried decision they made.
These are just a sample of the terrible things that can happen to victims in the aftermath of a tragic event. One of TIP’s main goals is to help prevent these second injuries from happening. TIP volunteers are trained to step in to work with staff and responders. For example, victims are given information as to how to contact crime scene cleanup companies and other community services. TIP volunteers also help protect victims against well-meaning friends who mistakenly say the wrong things.