ICISF Events & Partner Events
Articles of the Week: 6/04/12
This research identifies important themes in critical incident stress management from a social work perspective. Fifteen social workers responded to an advertisement in the national professional newsletter asking about social workers' recent experiences of critical incident stress debriefing (CISD) as an intervention. Their preferred models of critical incident stress management (CISM) were then discussed. Thirteen participants were interviewed, ten of whom had the dual experience as a debriefer and as a social worker who had been debriefed following a “critical event.” Those who had dual experience of facilitating debriefings and being debriefed, commented from both sets of experience. There was overwhelming support for Mitchell's model of CISM. The social workers interviewed thought Mitchell's seven staged model of CISD as an intervention needed to be offered within an integrated CISM policy that could be adapted to the specific field of social work in which the participant was working. Strengths-based principles were considered important to build into a CISM policy with debriefing being an option rather than a compulsory organizational support. The role of individual ongoing clinical supervision was seen as an essential part of an integrated CISM policy complementing the provision of CISD through an ongoing relationship.
As we all know, the IMO Marine Shipping Circular 1334 requires the Master to conduct a Psychological Trauma Debriefing. For those of you, who have missed this important guideline the exact wording, is as follows:
Post Incident Follow Up; the ship-owner should be aware that the seafarer may suffer from trauma or similar condition after being victimized under an attack from pirates or armed robbers. An important first step in reducing the risk from trauma is for masters to debrief crew immediately after the attack or release of a vessel in order to get crew to confront their experiences.
Conducting a good and robust debriefing requires not only skills, but specific and essential training. Therefore it seems unrealistic just to expect that all Master, owners, SSO and CSO are capable to arrange and conduct a psychological debriefing. There are many aspects in obtaining the correct debriefing technique and worst case would be the contrary outcome, which could damage more and definitely not support the individual seafarer, who is in need for a mind-clarification after having been subject to a piracy attack – or more realistically a serious accident.
There is much more to a psychological debriefing than just recapping a series of events. Letting steam out, building a common picture and applying psychological support to the crew-members are just some of the essential elements and the most optimal debriefing consist of 6 structured phases, which should be known to each de-briefer. These phases are; Introduction, facts, thoughts, emotional, support and termination.
However, looking at the maritime industry it is difficult to find training or courses, where debriefing techniques are included.
The benefit of Psychological Debriefing Technique training is also visible in any severe post-accident case.
Articles of the Week 5/28/12
On this Memorial Day when military leaders around the world honor fallen troops, one Army general has retracted a blog post stating he is "fed up" with soldiers who commit suicide, calling it "an absolutely selfish act." "Wednesday, we lost a Fort Bliss Soldier to an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. I heard the tragic news as I walked out of a memorial service for another one of our Soldiers who decided to kill himself at home on Christmas Day so that his family would find him. Christmas will never be the same for his two young daughters he left behind," Pittard wrote at the time.
He continued, "I have now come to the conclusion that suicide is an absolutely selfish act. Soldiers who commit suicide leave their families, their buddies and their units to literally clean up their mess. There is nothing noble about suicide."
Later in the post Pittard wrote "I am personally fed up with Soldiers who are choosing to take their own lives so that others can clean up their mess. Be an adult, act like an adult, and deal with your real-life problems like the rest of us."
Oakbrook Terrace Fire Chief Gregory Sebesta said he is carefully monitoring his personnel for signs of critical incident stress after they responded Tuesday to the scene of four fatal shootings and a fire in unincorporated DuPage County.
He said he has made fire district employees aware of services available from the Northern Illinois Critical Incident Stress Management Team, which offers tips such as getting extra rest, spending time with others and alternating periods of exercise with relaxation to ease physical symptoms. Sebesta said counselors also can be made available if emergency responders need someone to talk with.
Fire Chief Mark Duski, of Villa Park and Fire Chief Andy Bonomo, of the York Center Fire Protection District helped provide stress management services while Sebesta was still busy with the fire.
“We're still human,” Sebesta said. “We still have physical setbacks; we still have emotional setbacks.”
Sometimes stress caused by responding to a scene like Tuesday's blaze won't manifest for several months, similar to post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by some military personnel, Sebesta said.
Articles of the Week: 05/21/12
CISM Team Helps Okla. Firefighters Heal After Incident (5/7/12 - Oklahoma)
Drastic situations call for CIST | The Equinox (4/11/12 - New Hampshire)
This is where the Critical Incident Support Team (CIST) makes its mark. In an article written in December 2011 for Student Affairs eNews, author Mona Anderson ...
According to Anderson, the assistant director of the Counseling Center at Keene State College, the team has been trained in two areas: psychological first aid and critical incident stress debriefing.
Critical incident stress debriefing focuses on the specific protocol the members would use with a group that has been affected by the incident.
Brian Quigley, the director of the Counseling Center is notified of an event that is possibly critical. A lot of events are relayed to Quigley because he is the person who makes the executive decision of whether or not an incident is actually critical.
Articles of the Week 05/18/11
Petty Officer 1st Class Jeannette Alverio, during a one-on-one session as part of the Kodiak-based critical incident stress management teams….……island deeply because of these close ties and the Critical Incident Stress Management team has been working to offer support for the past two weeks.
Now it is mandatory for officers to participate in critical incident stress debriefings. These have nothing to do with how an incident unfolded or was handled, but are all about the officer and how he or she is feeling.
Article of the Week: 05/07/12
Senior Superintendent Thatatsotlhe Nwokoro of the Botswana Police Service (BPS) was awarded at the Gender Justice and Local Government Summit in Johannesberg for her presentation on gender-based violence. The presentation covered how to deal with GBV at both personal and professional levels, and described BPS's efforts to deal with GBV incidents.
In terms of support at professional level, Nwokoro stated that BPS has come up with Critical Stress Debriefing, which debriefs police officers when they attend to horrific incidents that leave them severely traumatised. She said the programme offers coping mechanisms for post-traumatic stress disorder.
"The expectation is that police officers have to attend to cases irrespective of fears, challenges and anxieties," she said.Violent GBV incidents traumatise police officers, she added, explaining that psychological trauma is not measurable because some of the signs may be a sudden abuse of alcohol or excessive smoking.
"Traumatic incidents have significant power to overwhelm normal coping capacity," she said. She said the programme is achieving remarkable results, noting that the demand for Critical Debriefing Services has increased, with 65 debriefing sessions having been held in 2011.