The correct response to a traumatic event greatly affects long term well being. Offering professional psychological assistance to your employees when they need it most is invaluable.
Critical Incident Response Services
We are an established Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and Critical Incident Response (CIR) provider, giving your team access to comprehensive trauma response services.
Our Critical Incident Response (CIR) service can offer:
- immediate emotional support for the victims of a traumatic event in the workplace (onsite & offsite)
- information sessions for staff on how to manage Acute Stress Response prevent PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress) after a critical incident in the workplace
- short-term monitoring of affected staff for signs of stress related psychological injury
- counselling for PTSD sufferers or staff affected by trauma or stress
Whilst some occupations are more susceptible to traumatic experiences than others (for example police work or emergency response) – a traumatic event can take place in any workplace. We have the experience to respond and provide support to staff following a wide range of potentially traumatic events such as:
- – workplace injury or death
- – workplace suicide or suicide attempt
- – assault or abuse
- – robbery
- – serious illness or diagnosis of a colleague
- – violence, workplace conflict or fights
- – bullying
- – harassment
We also work with unique employee groups who are at a heightened risk of stress, violence or vicarious trauma. For example people working in the funeral industry, people working in nightclubs or bars, emergency services and so on.
Important Facts About Traumatic Injury
- Early intervention is simple and cost effective.
Initial support after a critical incident is normally limited to education, brief emotional support and ‘psychological first aid’. It is relatively cost effective.
- Delaying the offer of support can be costly.
Delaying a mental health response and the offer of support and monitoring can lead to costly treatment down the track as people develop psychological injuries that could have been prevented.
- The response to trauma varies greatly from person to person.
Personal history and personal disposition are important factors in adjusting to stress. You won’t always know how a person is coping based on their outward behaviour or apparent personality. Often even ‘strong characters’ are vulnerable and hide this well leading to a greater risk of psychological injury, break down and the need for longer term compensation.
- Traumatic stress injuries like PTSD develop some time after the actual event.
Post traumatic stress can develop several months after a potentially traumatic event. Don’t assume everyone is ok just because people seem to be coping ok. People may be reluctant to reveal distress some time after the event and may try to minimise their symptoms to avoid shame and stigma in the workplace. This will usually make the psychological injury worse.
- Unchecked and untreated, traumatic stress response can reduce employee well-being.
This leads to lost productivity, higher long term claim costs and increased insurance premiums. Staff and business both loose out. It is therefore important for any organisation to have the capacity to respond swiftly to workplace trauma.
In the first instance, it is important to be able to offer immediate support in the form of empathy and encouragement. A person who has been subjected to trauma may need simple acts of compassion from work colleagues, time off to recoup with family or friends, they might wish to talk about their experience, or they might need gentle assistance to ‘get back on the horse’.
Of course, everyone responds to trauma in different ways, and not everyone who experiences trauma will go on to suffer from traumatic stress. It is nonetheless important for managers to be aware of some of the signs of post-traumatic stress so they can know what to watch out for.
Symptoms of Trauma Related Psychological Injury
Stress related conditions include common symptoms such as:
- Unusual displays of irritability
- Reduced workplace performance
- Withdrawal from social activities or from interpersonal communication
- Conflict with work colleagues
- Increased intake of alcohol
- Melancholy or other signs of depression
- Changes in personality
- Sleeping problems
- Engaging in risky behaviour or undertakings
Note that some of these symptoms are also suggestive of more general job-related concerns such as poor workplace performance, interpersonal conflict, disagreements with management, or physical ailments. Our Employee Assistance Program can support affected staff, and their managers, to handle the impact of stress.
In an environment where workplace stress claims are on the rise , today’s astute businesses simply can’t afford to ignore the value of a professional and responsive EAP provider. Call us today for immediate assistance.