Critical Incident Response

The CHG team of qualified psychologists has extensive experience in providing a front-line, immediate trauma response for a company’s employees who have been impacted by a critical incident.

These services are provided 24 hours a day, every day of the year and can assist in maintaining, or restoring, a person’s psychological wellbeing following a traumatic event. This, along with follow up and treatment where required is a service which can assist in preventing or minimising long-term impact on the individual and the employer.

What is a critical incident?

A critical incident can be any event in, or outside of, the workplace which involves an actual or threatened loss of life or a significant threat to a person’s physical or psychological well-being. Examples of a critical incident include:

  •  the threat of, or an actual, physical assault or injury
  •  a robbery, fire, bomb threat or other violent, or potentially violent occurrence in the workplace
  •  witnessing a significant workplace injury or other accident
  •  sudden death of a work colleague, in or out of the workplace

Psychological impact

Every individual responds differently to threatening and confronting situations and the psychological symptoms that may arise vary from person to person. Typically however, exposure to a critical incident can lead to reactions including: 

  • agitation and poor concentration 
  • flashbacks 
  • a sense of vulnerability and feelings of helplessness 
  • fear and horror.

The duration of these symptoms varies and can be influenced by the nature of the incident, the individual’s previous life experiences and their coping abilities and supports. In some cases, a critical incident can cause or contribute to longer term psychological distress and illness.

The CHG approach to critical incident response

A critical incident response is deployed as soon as our team are made aware of the critical incident, and this can be triggered by a phone call at any time of the day or night.

The CHG approach to critical incident response is based on industry recognised, best practice mental health first aid guidelines. Based on these guidelines, the CHG approach is consciously not trauma or grief counselling.

The CHG approach is focused on ensuring the person’s immediate safety and welfare. The consultant works with the person affected by the critical incident to ensure adaptive coping strategies are implemented and to explain the normal and expected reactions to trauma and shock so the individual is aware of how they may react in the days and weeks following the incident.

Where clinically indicated, the services provided through the critical incident response can transition to psychology counselling services, for example through a CHG Employee Assistance Program.

Critical incident response services are generally provided over the phone to enable a swift response. Face to face consultations are available at any of the CHG clinics, or services can be provided in a workplace should there be multiple people seeking support for the same incident.

To find our more, contact the CHG Consultancy Team on (08) 8354 9800 or email us.

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