Critical incident stress in the workplace is typically some type of traumatic event. This could include a death, serious accident, violence, or a crime committed where you work.
If you’ve experienced an event like this at work, processing it and getting through it the right way is the best thing you can do for your mental and emotional health. Remember, you don’t have to be directly involved in the event for it to negatively impact you.
Critical incident stress can be especially traumatic because most people don’t expect it.
Your workplace might have critical incident stress management solutions in place. We’ll cover a few of those in this article. But, if you’re still struggling, you might want to consider seeking out professional help to get through the trauma you’ve experienced.
Critical Incident Stress Prevention and Preparation
No one wants to think about any serious accidents or deaths in the workplace. Yet, it happens, and it’s important to be as prepared as possible. If your place of business doesn’t already have a critical stress incident management plan in place, talk to them about how it might help in case something tragic ever does happen.
With this type of preparation, employees can learn the normal range of emotions and feelings that often occur after such an event. They can also learn certain stress management skills and pick up on resources that can help them to get through it in a healthy and effective way.
There are different agencies specifically designed to help employees prepare for critical incident stress in the workplace. Connecting your business with one of them can help to ensure all employees understand how to handle such an event should it ever happen. It’s a great way to be proactive about the mental health and wellbeing of each employee.
Processing and Grieving After Exposure
One of the most important things you should do after experiencing critical incident stress where you work is to try to process what happened. This is sometimes called a “debriefing” or even a “diffusing.”
It helps to do this shortly after the event happened. It’s easier to express your thoughts and feelings right away, so you can return to a normal routine as soon as possible. And you want to do this as soon as possible, before problematic symptoms can set in.
People who experience traumatic events sometimes have a hard time fully accepting or processing them. The longer you hold onto the event without talking about it, the more you can start to experience harmful symptoms. Some of these include flashbacks, nightmares, appetite changes, increased alcohol consumption, fear, or anxiety.
Give yourself time to grieve over what happened. Usually, a traumatic event in the workplace is some kind of loss. Many companies will offer their employees some type of immediate counseling or at least some time off to go through the grieving process at their own pace.
Seeking Out Trauma Counseling for Critical Incident Stress
Trauma counseling is often beneficial for people who experience a tragic event at work. Sometimes, something as quick as a debriefing simply isn’t enough.
People experience and respond to trauma differently. Some of your co-workers might have an easier time getting back to work and moving on with their lives. Others will have a difficult time, and they won’t be able to move past what happened.
If you’re struggling with how to manage the stress caused by a traumatic event at work, you’re not alone. It’s important to seek out help before the symptoms and effects of the trauma become worse.
When you don’t take action, the symptoms of a traumatic event can start to take over your life, impacting your personal personal and professional endeavors
Feel free to contact me today if you’ve been through something like this, and we can work through it together. Or, visit here to learn more about how I can help.