The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT, pronounced “sit”) is part of the Emergency Services Department at Burning Man and consists of highly trained and dedicated psychiatric and mental health professionals. CIT responds in teams of two to needs for psychiatric services on the playa, advocacy for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, and critical incident stress management should it be needed.
This Crisis Intervention Team is designated to respond to any significant event, much like many county mental health resources would respond to a school shooting or other large-scale event. Additionally, CIT works closely with the Sanctuary and Green Dot Rangers, who provide peer crisis intervention as well as a safe space for those who need some space to recompose themselves after intense emotional or physical ordeals.
Prospective volunteers need at least one year prior Black Rock City (BRC) experience and an understanding of the culture. Our criteria include:
- Mental health professionals who are actively working or currently volunteering in their community.
- Sexual assault and domestic violence advocates must be actively involved with a program on an ongoing basis in their hometowns and volunteer as advocates beyond their training. Online coursework alone is not accepted. We prefer one prior BRC burn experience to work on our Survivor Advocacy Team (SAT), but will review qualifications of new burners once affiliations have been verified.
- Licensed volunteers in good standing with Nevada who perform legal holds when needed.
All CIT members carry pagers and radios when on duty. During duty shifts, they work in pairs on a 24-hour on-call basis in rotation with multiple other team pairs to ensure service to BRC participants who are in need. We also deploy CISM (Critical Incident Stress Management) teams to staff can camp areas following difficult emergency situations (death, serious injury, etc) as needed.
This team had its humble beginning back in 1998 with a team of 4 and has now grown to over 90 fun-loving highly skilled professionals who thrive on the magic that is Burning Man.
Want to volunteer? Go to the Burning Man (link) website to participate!