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Critical Incident Stress

WHAT IS A CRITICAL INCIDENT ?

A critical incident (or traumatic event) is any event outside the usual realm human experience that is markedly distressing ( elicits reactions of intense fear, helplessness, dread, panic, horror, etc.) Such critical incidents usually involve the perceived threat to one’s physical integrity/safety or the physical integrity/safety of someone else. Most of all, critical incidents are defined by their undermining of a person’s sense of safety, security and competency in the world. The result, critical incident stress can be a form of psychiatric injury, also known as traumatic stress. Contrary to some misconceptions out there – a person’s internal fortitude does not prevent this from happening. It is extremely important to respond quickly to a critical incident. The sooner the intervention/response – the less likely more complicated problems such as panic attacks, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and similar anxiety spectrum disorders are to arise, as well as a host of other challenges.

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Examples of Critical Incidents

Individual/Personal
Automobile accident, or any accident involving serious injury and/or property damage
Industrial accidents involving serious injuries or fatalities
Sudden or unexpected death of a relative, friend or colleague
Sexual assault/abuse
Robbery and violent crimes
Domestic violence
Child abuse and/or injury or death of a child
Psychological/emotional abuse
Suicide or attempted suicide
Homicide(s)
Line of duty death or injury among emergency/law enforcement personnel
Any life threatening experience
Adverse/negative publicity
Observing or being aware of unethical acts
Observing any of the individual or community critical incidents

Community/World

  • Fires
  • Floods
  • Earthquakes
  • Hurricanes
  • Tornadoes
  • Multiple injury/fatality accidents
  • Large scale environmental pollution
  • Terrorism
  • Acts of war
  • Child related traumatic events
  • Homicides in the community
  • High publicity crimes of violence or sex
  • Community disasters
  • Being an emergency worker/first responder in critical incidents and disasters*
    • (*Peace Officers, Fire & Rescue, EMT, Triage Nurses & Military)

Point Of Fact:
You do not need to be directly involved to be negatively affected by a critical incident. Generally, the closer you are to the actual event and the people involved, the more severe the impact. However, television and news media coverage, especially excessive and/or graphic depictions, may serve to increase the likelihood of experiencing traumatic impact, especially anxiety and feelings of not being safe.

Traumatic Exposure and CISM

What are CISD and CISM?

Critical Traumatogenic Exposure and CISM Incident Stress Debriefings (CISDs) are a specific tool of Critical Incident Stress Management designed to help individuals, groups, or entire organizations cope with the often difficult, overwhelming and/or stressful emotions associated with critical incidents or traumatic events.

What Employers Should Know About CISM

CISDs helps mitigate post-traumatic symptoms, assess the need for follow-up, and often provides a sense of closure. If prompt trauma intervention is provided at the onset of the crisis, damaging long term effects can be minimized and employees will be better equipped to return to the daily work routine and productivity.

Professional Consulting and CISM for Traumatic Exposure/Incidents

Professional consulting and Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) are not the same thing as psychotherapy or counseling. These are specialized, focused services that are used very specifically for individuals who have been involved in or exposed to unnatural events or conditions. Sometimes exposure occurs while fulfilling the duties of their profession, sometimes due to unforeseen accidents or disasters and even sometimes as a victim of an aggressive crime.

These services are not the same as therapy and in no way are they meant to replace therapy. These services are most effective when used as soon as possible after the event to help normalize the situation and prepare the individual for some other issues that may arise in the short term as a result. CISM is intended to be used promptly to reduce the risk of further distress and more detrimental outcomes later on such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Issues that may be addressed by CISM include;

Critical Incident Stress Debriefing, Anxiety & Anger Problems, Stress Management, Traumatogenic Exposure, PTSD, Survivor’s Guilt, Grief and Loss, Family Conflict, Significant Life-Change Adjustment, Work/Life Balance, Spiritual/Philosophical Conflicts and Substance Abuse/Dependence.

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These services are typically used for :
First Responders
Peace Officers
Fire Department
Nurses
EMT
Hazardous Professions
Oil (Rig/Refinery) Professionals
Industrial Plant Professionals
Airline / Airport
Maritime / Off Shore
Railroad
Professional Environment
Death in the Workplace
Violence in the Workplace
Crisis Event in the Workplace
Victims & Survivors
Accidents
Aggressive/Assaultive Crime
Robbery/Random Crime
National Crisis
Natural Disaster

The Top 7 Reasons Your Company Should Use a Licensed and Experienced CISM;

The Top Reasons Your Company Should Use Critical Incident Stress Management
(What Every CEO, Human Resources Manager and Internal EAP Should Know About Critical Incident Stress Management.)

  1. Meet OSHA requirements for General Duty Clause 29 USC 1900 5(a) and for S.E.M.P. Compliance. (Structured Emergency Response Program)
  2. Provide Risk Management for adversarial situations and help decrease litigious responses.
  3. Help prevent job stress and burnout problems and worker injuries/errors and associated costs.
  4. Decrease bottom line expenses for employers. (Studies have shown realized savings of $7 for every $1 spent on CISM).
  5. Promotes employee wellness and decreases utilization of sick time and benefits.
  6. Stabilize crisis situations quickly & effectively when they do occur.
  7. The visible and appropriate action of a company taking care of it’s employees in a crisis.

Professional Consulting and CISM for Traumatic Exposure/Incidents

Professional consulting and Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) are not the same thing as psychotherapy or counseling. These are specialized, focused services that are used very specifically for individuals who have been involved in or exposed to unnatural events or conditions. Sometimes exposure occurs while fulfilling the duties of their profession, sometimes due to unforeseen accidents or disasters and even sometimes as a victim of an aggressive crime.

These services are not the same as therapy and are in no way meant to replace therapy. These services are most effective when used as soon as possible after the event to help normalize the situation and prepare the individual for some other issues that may arise in the short term as a result. CISM is intended to be used promptly to reduce the risk of further distress and more detrimental outcomes later on such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

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For Corporate CISM Services, please contact Ben Carrettin at (7)-489-3329