CRITICAL INCIDENT STRESS MANAGEMENT (CISM) TEAM
what is CISM?
- Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) is a crisis intervention system which contains both strategic and tactical elements.
- Strategically, Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) is a comprehensive, integrated, multi-component crisis intervention system for managing traumatic events within organizations or communities.
- Tactically, CISM includes numerous interventions including pre-incident education and preparation, assessment/strategic planning, individual crisis intervention, large group crisis interventions, small group crisis interventions, family support, organizational/community consultations, pastoral crisis intervention, and referrals to other resources, if necessary.
- CISM is helping healthy and functioning people to remain healthy and functioning.
- Many CISM services are provided within hours or days of a critical incident by well trained peer support personnel and/or mental health clinicians.
- CISM is not psychotherapy, nor a substitute for psychotherapy. Rather, CISM services and psychotherapy are simply different points on the same continuum of care.
What is Crisis Intervention?
TEMPORARY, but ACTIVE and SUPPORTIVE entry into the life of individuals or groups during a period of extreme distress. Also known as “Emotional First Aid.” Different intervention tools are used for individuals vs. groups. The goals of crisis intervention are:
- Mitigate impact of event (lower tension)
- Facilitate normal recovery processes in normal people who are having normal reactions to abnormal events
- Restoration to adaptive function
The CISM team may respond to the following:
- Death of a city/county service worker, i.e. law enforcement, firefighter, social worker , or emergency personnel in the line of duty: during an incident, en route to an incident, or during a training exercise.
- Serious line of duty injury to city/county employees or first responders.
- Suicide or other unexpected death of a co-worker.
- Mass Casualty Incidents.
- Serious injury or death of a civilian resulting from emergency services operations, i.e. auto accident, etc.
- Officer related shooting
- Events that seriously threaten the lives of responders/service personnel.
- Loss of life of a patient following extraordinary and prolonged expenditure of physical and emotional energy during rescue efforts by emergency/ services personnel.
- Personal identification with the victim or the circumstances. Events where the victims are relatives or friends of county, city or service personnel.
- Any incident in which the circumstances were so unusual or the sights and sounds so distressing as to produce a high level of immediate or delayed emotional reaction.
- Natural disasters in the county. i.e. floods, fire, etc.
Stress Coping Strategies
When emergency personnel experience significant stress from a critical incident, the following steps may help to reduce stress until the incident is over or until a trained CISM team is located.
Some Signs and symptoms of concern
Critical incidents may produce a wide range of stress symptoms. Stress symptoms usually occur in five different categories: Cognitive (thinking), Physical (body), Emotional (feelings), Behavioral (actions), and Spiritual (crisis of faith).
The more symptoms experienced, the more powerful the stress reaction. The longer the symptoms persist, the more potential there is for lasting harm. The following is only a sample of stress symptoms that can show up after a critical incident.
Poor Concentration • Difficulties with calculations
Poor attention span • Memory problems
Difficulty making decisions • Slowed problem solving
Guilt • Depression • Grief • Anger • Feeling lost
Overwhelmed • Anxiety •Fear • Loss of emotional Control
Muscle tremors • Chest pains • Gastrointestinal distress
Difficulty breathing • Headaches • Elevated blood pressure
Excessive Silence • Sleep disturbances • Extreme
Behavioral change • Changes in eating habits
Withdrawal from contact • Change in work habits
Anger at Deity • Anger at Clergy
Sense of isolation from Deity
Questioning basic beliefs • Loss of meaning or purpose
Faith practices seem empty
Withdrawal from place of worship
Uncharacteristic religious involvement
Kings View Crisis Line
559-582-4484 or 1-800-655-2553
Kings County 211
Dial 211 or 1-877-864-9290
Kings County Victim Witness
Kings County Office of Emergency Management
Kings County Health Department Emergency Preparedness
American Red Cross Central Valley
Kings County Employee Assistance Program - Avante
For Kings County Employees Only
Veteran's Crisis Line
1-800-273-8255 or send text to 838255
Kings County Behavioral health