ICISF Events & Partner Events

Article of the Week: 6/11/12

After Workplace Violence Incident, Mental Health Resources a Must 5/30/12

…. said it can be necessary for companies to offer multiple group counseling sessions or "debriefings" for employees that allow them to discuss trauma and process their emotions.

Experts say employers that hold debriefings should make sure that such discussions are helping employees rather than harming them.

"If debriefing sessions turn into complaints about the company, it really fosters a lot of negativity,

Supnick said companies should try to schedule debriefing sessions when employees seem ready to discuss the situation, rather than forcing workers to talk immediately after workplace violence.


Interventions for the Prevention of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in Disorder in Adults After Exposure to Psychological Trauma(06/06/12)
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Psychological Debriefing, Critical Incident Stress Debriefing, and Critical Incident Stress Management. Psychological debriefing interventions aim to educate ...

Specific psychological interventions that have been studied for the prevention of adult PTSD are described below and include the following: psychological debriefing interventions, including critical incident stress debriefing (CISD) and critical incident stress management (CISM);……



Articles of the Week: 6/04/12

Critical Incident Stress Debriefing: An Exploratory Study of Social Workers' Preferred Models of CISM and Experiences of CISD in New Zealand (5/29/12 - New Zealand)

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.


“Psychological Debriefings – Not Only After a Piracy Attack” (5/30/12)

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

General's remarks about suicide "upsetting" (5/25/12 - Texas)

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 chief: Fire, shootings was 'traumatizing' (1/19/12 - Illinois)

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)
Garfield County Sheriff Bill Winchester said emergency responders have learned over the years it’s important to have critical incident stress management sessions after a highly traumatic call — a session where those who dealt with the emergency can deal with the emotions they pushed aside during the crisis.
The intense trauma of some calls can be so troubling to first responders they quit their jobs afterward, Winchester said. The Kremlin Fire Depart-ment experienced that after Bryce and Tyler’s accident.
“We’ve had two walk away,” said Krem-lin Fire Chief Derrick Harris
About 90 percent of emergency workers will experience critical-incident stress at some point in their careers, Lillie said.
“Out of a single incident, about 30 percent will do fine, about 30 percent will have moderate critical-incident stress, and for about 30 percent, it will be severe,” Lillie said.
The Northwest Oklahoma Cri-tical Incident Stress Management team brings three peers, a chaplain and a mental health professional together to meet in an incident debriefing with the emergency responders.
“We have several stages we go through during the debriefing,” Lillie said. “The first is their initial response to the incident — what they did, what they saw.”


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

Emerald Isle team gives first-aid after tragedy (5/1/12 - Alaska USCG)

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.
Initially CISM was developed for fire services in the mid-80s and about a decade later the Coast Guard started using it for first responders to those involved in traumatic events.
“In Kodiak we have a unique situation because we’re a small community we have a joint CISM team,” said John Eaton, CISM team coordinator. “At any given time our team has 60 to 70 people, which about half are members of the local community and the other half is Coast Guardsmen.”
The CISM team is trained to provide pre-incident education, preparation, strategic planning, assessment and triage, and how to provide critical incident stress management services to individuals, small and large groups of people impacted by a traumatic event.
“When people experience critical incidents they are affected in five domains; they way they think, their emotions, their behavior, physically and spiritually,” said Eaton. “Everyone reacts differently. What’s a critical incident for me might not be for you and vice versa.”


Workplaces need to do more: RNC officer (5/11/12 - Newfoundland, Canada)

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.