How Employees Can Assist Each Other After a Critical Incident

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Health Assured team

07 June 2018

Have you experienced a critical incident that’s affecting your ability to cope at work? Critical events not only affect the way your workplace runs but can also negatively impact your mental or physical health. Defined as an event ‘out of normal experiences’, critical incidents, can be measured from minor to severe – such as death, injury, assault or anything else which receives a strong emotional response. These events can seriously affect you and in turn, your colleagues’ overall wellbeing and productivity levels. Examples could include a colleague who has been injured using machinery in your workplace, or an event that has occurred outside of work yet affected your peers, such as a terrorist attack. In this guide, we will be sharing the three main ways that employees can assist each other after a critical incident:

1. Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM)

At Health Assured, we offer employees coping methods in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) group sessions. These sessions include on-site and telephone support to after a trauma. We also offer group briefings and recovery meetings, which can be given to multiple individuals at once. Not only do these group sessions help to debrief and aid your recovery from the incident, but CISM sessions help normalise feelings of anxiety, as well as overwhelming psychological or physiological responses to incidents. High stress levels can be extremely common after a critical incident, which is why Health Assured often advise employees to take a stress management course.

2. Mental Health First Aid Courses

We also offer mental health first aid courses to help employees recognise symptoms that their peers may be struggling in regards to their mental health in the aftermath of a critical incident. The two-day course allows employees to learn how to:

  • Help someone to recover quickly
  • Stop someone from self-harming
  • Identify the early stages of a mental health problem
  • Prevent someone’s mental health from deteriorating
  • Break the stigma surrounding mental health

  Supporting your colleagues’ mental health at work is extremely important – especially when considering the top three presenting issues associated with employees' mental wellness are anxiety, depression and bereavement. By attending the course, you’ll earn a MHFA certificate and ‘Z card’, which will equip you with the resources you’ll need if another critical incident happens. A ‘Z card’ can help you to identify mental health first aiders within your team. It will also enable you to help your peers or colleagues who might be experiencing trauma after a critical incident at work and support them on their road to recovery.

3. Encourage Open Communication in the Workplace

When a critical incident happens at work, it’s not uncommon for you to want to bottle up your feelings and avoid discussions. However, engaging in open communication can help you and others who’ve been affected by a traumatic incident. Our wellbeing services encourage you to discuss your thoughts and feelings with co-workers who can empathise with you. Not only does this also help to break the stigma surrounding mental health, but it’s a great step in helping you to develop lasting relationships in the workplace. If you have any questions regarding the employee wellbeing services we offer at Health Assured, get in touch with our wellness experts.

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