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Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM)

CISM is an effective debriefing procedure to help normalise the often overwhelming psychological, physiological and emotional responses to minor, moderate and severe critical incidents.

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What is a Critical Incident?

A Critical Incident is any actual or alleged traumatic event or situation that creates a significant risk of substantial harm to the physical or mental health, safety or well being of an employee.

This is where critical incident management comes in. A critical incident management definition is where you help those affected by critical incidents or ensure that they don’t become victims of one.

Specifically, there is a form which helps deal with the emotional sides of a critical incident. Here we can help you with this with critical incident management plan tailored towards this.


What is CISM?

Critical Incident Stress Management otherwise known as CISM is designed to help people deal with their trauma one incident at a time, by allowing them to talk about the incident when it happens without judgment or criticism. First developed for use with military combat veterans and then civilian first responders (police, fire, ambulance, emergency workers and disaster rescuers), it has now been adapted and used virtually everywhere there is a need to address traumatic impact in people's lives.

Health Assured can offer a range of CISM support services, including crisis intervention, and post-incident support.

We have a robust process in place to manage high-risk traumatic situations and critical incidents, and day-to-day unexpected incidents, that is supported by an experienced UK and international network of specialist CISM personnel.

Critical Incident Stress Management

Benefits of Critical Incident Stress Management

We recognise the impacts of critical incidents on employees’ levels of distress and the impacts that it may have on being able to perform their role effectively or attend work.

We design our corporate wellness services to enhance employees’ natural resilience and provide specialist support to minimise effects of trauma and promote wellbeing and recovery. It is a system of support that is meant to do the following:

  • Lessen the impact of the critical incident
  • Normalise instinctive reactions to the incident
  • Encourage the natural recovery process
  • Restore the adaptive functioning skills of the person and/or group
  • Determine the need for further supportive services or therapy
Benefits of critical incident stress management

Types of CISM

When developing a critical incident stress management plan, there are several types of CISM that can we can deploy, either together or individually.

Debriefing is a proactive intervention involving a group meeting or discussion about a particularly distressing critical incident. We know this as critical incident stress debriefing (CISD.)

Grief and Loss Sessions: are a structured group or individual session following a death and assists people in understanding their own grief reactions as well as creating a healthy atmosphere of openness and dialogue.

Crisis Management Briefings: are large group interventions used before, during and after a crisis.

types of cism

24/7 Telephone Support

As part of our standard telephonic EAP services, we offer immediate critical incident support via our trained in-house trauma practitioners. Managers with the authority to invoke critical incident support can access telephone support for immediate advice and recommendations regarding appropriate actions to support those affected.

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On-site Support

We can deploy our extensive network of clinicians to any location within 24 to 48 hours for on-site defusing and stress management. On-site group briefings can be provided within 24 hours of an incident for information only or for active defusing

We provide a range of on-site critical incident services to support individuals and groups of employees suffering from traumatic stress.


We guarantee trauma aftercare following a CISM debrief with Health Assured’s in-house trained trauma counsellors and mental health professionals, who are available 24/7 to provide telephone support or a clinical assessment and short-term structured telephone counselling or a referral to face-to-face counselling.

Contact us today

Find out more about our Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) services.

Contact Health Assured today on 0800 756 0893 or request a callback using the link below.

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Welsh Ambulance NHS Service Trust has used Health Assured as it’s EAP for the past 2 years and the service has been extremely well received by our staff. We were given support from day 1 with communications, leaflets, manager guides to promote the service which has been very helpful.

Ceri Bryant |Occupational Health and Wellbeing Service Manager