EMERGENCY AND TRAUMA RESPONSE

Emergency Workplace Interventions

  • A death of a colleague, threatened violence, traumatic events-these and other incidents may lead to crises in the workplace.
  • Untreated workplace trauma can lead to decreased productivity, increased health claims, poor morale, even staff resignations.
  • Prompt response by experienced professionals can relieve the stress resulting from trauma.
  • We rapidly respond to emergency needs in the workplace, with opportunities for group or individual counselling and de-briefing on-site or in our offices.
  • Consultation with management and formulation of plans for continued monitoring of the impact of major events are also available.

Assessment of Post-Incident Trauma

  • Following traumatic incidents, a number of reactions are normal, including some sleep disturbance, flashbacks and difficulties with concentration.
  • More serious problems may result, including prolonged or intensified experience of these normal reactions, depression and avoidance.
  • Systematic assessment of posttraumatic symptoms provides diagnosis of problems that require treatment and recommendations concerning counselling or therapy.

Follow-up Assessments and Therapy

  • On-site follow-up assessments with groups or individuals assist in ensuring that problems are resolved satisfactorily.
  • Therapy for individuals who are at risk of continued symptoms helps resolve outstanding difficulties and reduces problems from absences or reduced productivity.

Best Practices in Trauma Intervention

Responses to trauma for most people, including fear, anxiety, re-experiencing, urges to avoid, and hyper-arousal symptoms, will gradually decrease over time. People should be encouraged to use natural supports and to talk with those they are comfortable with – friends, family, co-workers – at their own pace. They should follow their natural inclination with regard to how much and to whom they talk.

Outcome studies of Psychological Debriefing do not overall support the use of a one-session, group therapy shortly after the trauma. In fact, some studies found that in the long run, a single-session may hinder natural recovery (see Bisson, Jenkins, Alexander, & Bannister, 1997; Mayou, Ehlers, & Hobbs, 2000).

It is recommended that brief interventions consist of 3-4 visits over 2-6 weeks time.

Individuals who continue to experience severe distress that interferes with functioning after three months are at higher risk for continued problems. These individuals should receive additional treatment.

References:

Foa et al.  Guidelines for mental health professionals’ response to the attack on the World Trade Center in the US.

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