Critical Incident Intervention

Psychological support for crisis response.

We offer on-site intervention during critical times.

What is a critical incident?

A critical or traumatic incident can be any event that is outside the usual range of daily experience.  Since the incident is always sudden and unexpected, it may overwhelm an individual’s ability to cope with the situation.  This may cause a feeling of discomfort, powerlessness or psychological trauma.

grief counseling

Terrible 10

  • Line of duty deaths
  • Suicide of a colleague
  • Serious work related injury
  • Multi-casualty / disaster / terrorism incidents
  • Events with a high degree of threat to the personnel
  • Significant events involving children
  • Events in which the victim is known to the personnel
  • Events with excessive media interest
  • Events that are prolonged and end with a negative outcome
  • Any significantly powerful, overwhelming distressing event
grief counseling

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Characteristics of Critical Incidents

  • They are sudden, random and unexpected.
  • They may be violent.
  • The event affects not only the victim but co-workers as well.
  • The event may affect a person’s sense of security.
  • The affected group is not prepared emotionally to cope adequately with the incident, or their usual ways of coping with stressful situations fail.
  • The incident is short in duration.
  • The impact of the situation exceeds a normal stress response.
  • The event may happen at or away from work.
  • It is important to distinguish between events causing stress (stressors) and traumatic events (traumas). Most people have the capacity to cope with stressful situations (e.g., balancing the demands of work and home life) and are able to manage common symptoms of stress (e.g., fatigue, irritability, irregular sleep). On the other hand, everyday coping skills are generally inadequate to manage a traumatic event. Those affected by trauma feel powerless—as if the event is managing them.

Goals of Santulan Intervention

  • Stabilize the group of employees affected by the incident
  • Provide an opportunity to ventilate feelings
  • Offer a forum to describe reactions to the event
  • Give people a chance to tell “their story”
  • Educate people on trauma and reactions to trauma
  • Provide support
  • Instill hope and positive expectations about trauma resolution
  • Provide facts and accurate information about the event itself, if applicable
  • Identify persons experiencing a high degree of stress and offer individual sessions
  • Offer skills for coping with trauma symptoms
  • Help people resume normal activities after an abnormal event
  • Prevent the development of post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Help people resume a normal work environment
  • Remind them of EAP services
  • Accelerate the recovery process

REMEMBER that the purpose of the session is not to help participants achieve a full resolution of the impact of the incident but to introduce and facilitate a healing process.

Behavioural Tools At Work