Critical Incident Stress Management
A critical incident is defined as an event which is outside the normal human experience. Examples include shootings, severe injury, gun take-aways, child deaths and staff or family suicides. Post traumatic stress, one of the most common by-products of these events, is defined as a normal reaction to an abnormal situation. Examples include physical ailments as well as emotional responses such as anger, the feeling of helplessness and fear.
It is often helpful if the person affected understands the physiological responses (time distortion, altered visual and auditory perceptions) that occur during and immediately after a critical incident. It is also important to realize that not all individuals experience or react to an event in the same way.
It is the intention of peer support staff that have received Critical Incident Stress Management training to offer information and support to those members involved in critical incidents.