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What is Medically Induced Trauma Support Services?

MITSS is a non-profit organization founded in June of 2002 whose mission is “To Support Healing and Restore Hope” to patients, families, and clinicians who have been affected by an adverse medical event.

We define medically induced trauma as an unexpected outcome that occurs during medical and/or surgical care.  These events may affect the emotional well being of the patient and/or family members.

How does MITSS achieve its mission?

  • Direct support services to patients, families, and clinicians.
  • Education and creating awareness about the emotional effects of medically induced trauma through participation in various forums and through the media.
  • Advocacy for Action – We advocate for full disclosure, apology, and support in cases of adverse events.

What emotional effects do clinicians sometimes experience as a result of an unexpected outcome?

  • Depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure
  • Sleeping or eating difficulties
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Feelings of failure or loneliness
  • Loss of trust in coworkers and/ or the institution
  • Anger, guilt, frustration
  • Inability to think or concentrate
  • Frequent images or thoughts of the event triggered by non-specific events
  • Desire to connect with others who have experienced similar trauma
  • Feelings of alienation at work or in the community
  • Stress due to financial, legal and/ or professional consequences
  • Desire to change professions or workplace setting
  • Lack of confidence/ doubting their ability

Who does MITSS provide support services for within the healthcare community?

Healthcare providers (i.e. physicians, nurses, pharmacists, etc.) and other personnel (i.e. risk management and social workers) impacted by a medically induced trauma are welcome to utilize MITSS’s support services. 

How does MITSS help clinicians?

  • MITSS offers educational support groups for clinicians led by an experienced psychologist.
  • MITSS staff and volunteers answer hotline calls, offering encouragement and support.  We provide resources and information appropriate for their geographic area, on various related topics.  Call 1-888-36MITSS (1-888-366-4877).
  • We work with medical organizations to provide educational in-services about the emotional impact to clinicians (patients and families as well).  We provide assistance to organizations to build their own mechanisms to offer continued emotional support to their clinicians following medically induced trauma.
  • MITSS may offer short-term individual support if the clinician and the MITSS psychologist decide a group setting is not appropriate.
  • MITSS’s support services are confidential.

Where and when do the MITSS groups meet?

MITSS educational support groups are ten weeks in length.  They meet weekly for approximately 90 minutes.  Groups are currently meeting in Chestnut Hill at 830 Boylston Street.  We are partnering with other organizations to make our services available in other areas around the Commonwealth.  Enrollment for the groups is ongoing.  The time and day of the week that the group will meet depends upon the majority of the group participants. 

How is group participation paid for?

There is a suggested donation of $10.00 per session for participation in the educational support groups to defer the costs.

How do I join a MITSS educational support group?

To participate in a MITSS group, we schedule an hour meeting with one of our support team members prior to the first group session.  This meeting is to ensure that the group is the best avenue to fill your needs.  After this meeting, together you and your MITSS support team member will decide what your best plan of action is on your road to healing.  Call MITSS, and a representative will assist you in the process at 617-232-0090 or toll free 1-888-366-4877.

What happens in the group?

During each of the 10 group sessions, various topics and information related to experiencing an adverse event are discussed.  The goal is to help each participant normalize their reactions to their own event.  The group’s members and leaders provide validation and support along the way as well.

“Many more pieces came together for me through this support group, not only through the camaraderie and encouragement, but through a deeper understanding of what medically induced trauma entails.  I became better equipped with helpful ways to further climb out from under its frightening grip.” A former MITSS clinician group participant.

What if I don’t wish to join a group?

MITSS offers many services, including telephone support via our hotline, and will make every effort to accommodate your needs to the best of our ability.  Call MITSS at 1-888-36MITSS or 617-232-0090, and a representative will discuss options to support your healing.

What if I live outside of Massachusetts?

While MITSS does not currently have groups meeting outside of Massachusetts, we are available by telephone to counsel clinicians.  Additionally, we are creating a list of available resources and referral sources across the country. Our MITSS representatives will attempt link you up with an appropriate service in your area.

What if I am interested in helping my facility develop a policy/ procedure to better support clinicians?

MITSS offers consulting services to assess the needs and develop a clinician support plan that works best for each individual institution.  Please contact MITSS at 1-888-36MITSS or 617-232-0090 for more information regarding this service.