New Crisis Management Program (Ukeru Systems) to offer Physical Alternatives to Restraint

December 2, 2015

Ukeru Systems Provides Cost and Life Saving Alternatives to

Restraint and Seclusion

(Winchester, VA) – Grafton Integrated Health Network today announced the national launch of Ukeru Systems, a safe, comforting and restraint-free crisis management program developed by and for behavioral health professionals and paraprofessionals, educators and parents. It is the first crisis training program to completely eliminate the use of restraints and seclusion as accepted behavioral management tools. Ukeru leadership will be traveling the country training others on its award-winning techniques in order to create a trauma informed environment for addressing aggressive behavior.

A 2014 National Public Radio investigative report found that restraints were used at least 267,000 times each school year in schools throughout the U.S. Many of these cases have received extensive public attention and become fodder for national debate. However, evidence shows that restraint and seclusion are, in fact, ineffective behavior modification techniques that actually cause, reinforce and maintain aggression and violence.

“Ukeru is rooted in the belief that the use of physical restraints is not only unnecessary, but also unproductive and that all intervention — educational and behavioral — should be built on an approach of comfort versus control,” stated Jim Gaynor, CEO of Grafton. “With the tragic examples of restraint cases in the news recently, it is more important than ever to provide effective training that can help eliminate the overuse of restraint and seclusion as a means of behavioral management.”

Data shows that Ukeru has helped behavioral health providers and schools reduce the use of restraint, seclusion, and injury, while lowering workers’ compensation costs and employee turnover. Within 10 years of developing and implementing the Ukeru approach, Grafton has reduced the use of restraints in their facilities by more than 99 percent, significantly reducing the number of injuries to both clients and those who care for them. The organization also saw a reduction in workers’ compensation policy costs and employee turnover saving them an estimated $15 million over ten years.

The behavioral health experts who created Ukeru are now training professionals and paraprofessionals, teachers, parents and others in the conceptual and technical elements of the program, as well as providing support and capacity building to assist organizations in implementing the Ukeru model in their own environment. Training is provided onsite and is fully customized.

“Ukeru is about receiving, engaging, sensing, feeling and responding to what someone is trying to communicate to us through their actions while maintaining the safety of all those involved,” said Kim Sanders, President of Ukeru Systems. “This approach demonstrates that as long as employees are properly trained, you can eliminate the use of restraint and seclusion without compromising anyone’s safety.”

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Grafton Integrated Health Network (Grafton):

Grafton is a nationally-recognized leader in providing multiple levels of support to people with a wide range of emotional and/or behavioral challenges. For more than 50 years, Grafton has offered a continuum of services for children, adolescents and adults and has a reputation for being able to work with people with the most difficult challenges and offer treatment that works.

Learn more at

About Ukeru Systems:

Ukeru Systems is a division of Grafton Integrated Health Network. Over the past 10 years, Grafton developed unique and award winning care management tools and techniques. Ukeru Systems now provides Grafton’s behavioral management tools and care trainings to other behavioral health providers.

Learn more at

Media Contact: Amber McCracken
Phone: 703.599.0134