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HELPING EMPLOYEES DEAL WITH TRAUMATIC EVENTS

Critical incidents are traumatic events that cause powerful emotional reactions in people who are exposed to them. Some of the most stressful types of events include workplace violence, line of duty deaths, co-worker death or suicide, natural disasters, terrorism, delayed intervention and multi-casualty incidents. Sadly, these events can happen at any time, within any organization.

WHAT IS A CRITICAL INCIDENT STRESS DEBRIEFING?

The Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) is designed to help manage and ease employees' response and recovery following a traumatic incident.  The optimal intervention is a three-step approach that addresses the trauma at various stages of progression: defusing, debriefing, and individual follow-up.  Employees can experience a variety of stress reactions that impact their mood, behavior, physical functioning and thoughts, often reporting concerns about returning to "normal." The CISD is designed to help employees establish "new normal" stress levels that are as low as possible.  A group debriefing and/or individual support at the worksite provides practical information about common reactions to an abnormal event.

Group debriefings also give employees an opportunity to talk about their experiences in a supportive environment with coworkers and supervisors. A group CISD is typically lasts 60-90 minutes and is best accomplished with groups of 3-15 employees. The CISD facilitator may also provide individual support to employees at the worksite, especially for those experiencing a higher level of distress.  If further support is needed, the CISD facilitator can guide employees to access the EAP for continued care.

HOW DO I REQUEST A CISD? 

Ideally, the CISD is ideally scheduled within 24-72 hours following the traumatic incident.  Supervisors or Human Resource Managers may call the EAP to request the service, which is available throughout New Mexico. The Solutions Group EAP counselors and contracted affiliates have training in Critical Incident Stress Debriefing, trauma recovery, and grief and loss support.







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