What is a Crisis Response?

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One of the commonly requested services from our EAP companies is a debriefing group following a crisis or critical incident.  We rely on many of our network providers that have indicated experience in this area to facilitate those groups at the company location for employees.  Here is a helpful summary of our crisis response service.

WHAT IS A CRISIS RESPONSE?

A Crisis Response is a group interaction where a facilitator allows employees to talk about their thoughts and reactions to a stressful event.  It is an opportunity for employees to learn what normal, expected behaviors and feelings may follow a stressful event and to learn ways to manage stress symptoms. The information shared in the group is strictly confidential. 

WHY HAVE AN ON-SITE CRISIS RESPONSE?

The group can help employees and companies reduce the risk of the after-effects of a stressful event getting in the way of normal functioning and work performance. 

INCIDENTS WHICH COULD WARRANT AN ON-SITE CRISIS RESPONSE

  • On-site violence or threat of violence (e.g. robbery, domestic violence, bomb threat)
  • Death or serious injury from a work-related incident
  • Suicide or homicide of an employee or an individual known to personnel
  • Significant event involving children of individuals known to personnel
  • Event which attracts high media attention
  • Event which is highly emotionally charged, such as downsizing

 WHAT ARE SOME INDICATORS THAT AN ON-SITE CRISIS RESPONSE MIGHT BE HELPFUL?

  • Employees are talking amongst themselves at work about the incident
  • Employees are exhibiting excessive fear or anxiety
  • Employees are making mistakes or using poor judgment following the incident
  • There are employees who are unusually preoccupied with the incident
  • There appears to be an unusual amount of conflict among employees
  • There are other types of changes in employee performance, attitude, or behavior

We ask that our companies consult with one of our EAP counselors as soon as possible after the incident to determine of a crisis response debriefing group may be appropriate.  Ideally, the group session should take place within 24-72 hours following the incident. We also emphasize that it is important that all employees affected by the incident be invited to attend the group, but not required. It may be important to have separate groups for employees and managers, depending on the nature of the critical incident, and one group should be planned for every 15-20 employees attending.  A group debriefing session takes approximately one hour and the facilitator typically stays for a short time afterwards to talk with any employees that would like some one-on-one time. 

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