CRITICAL INCIDENT RESPONSE

When a crisis happens in your workplace you can turn to us for assistance in managing the fallout. Our response model distinguishes between individual crisis counselling, a planned team defuse and critical incidents.

Individual crisis counselling is handled through our EAP service and involves immediate support by phone and face to face follow-up support where required.

General defusing is provided through our Mental Health and Wellbeing consulting service. It is planned in advance, although we may be able to conduct a general defusing on relatively short notice. This is useful following announcements of major organisational change or restructure or in situations where a team is experiencing challenging behaviour from a colleague or client.

Critical Incidents are unplanned events, usually occurring in or around the workplace, that impact on a team or individual. Critical Incidents can include robberies, fatalities, assault, major accidents or natural disasters.

When you call our 1300 number, night or day, your call is assigned to a Rapid Response Senior Consultant to be triaged, to work with you to develop a critical incident plan and provide you with information and immediate strategies to best support your people until our Consultant arrives onsite. If the event is a mass disaster or is still unfolding, we mobilise a team and project manage the response centrally.

Within 2 hours (in metro areas) to 24 hours (remote locations) we can have a consultant onsite to support your team with psychological first aid. While we are geared up to mobilise this fast, our experience is that the optimal critical response time is not always 2 hours. Where an incident has happened at 1am, for example, it can be much better for someone’s recovery for them to have a brief phone conversation with a consultant, get safely home as quickly as possible, sleep and then meet face to face with a consultant the next morning. Our consultants discuss this with the referring manager during the initial notification of the incident and together they plan an appropriate response time.
After an initial meeting with the group, usually face to face, we then follow up individuals at 24 hour, 1 week, 2 week and 4 week intervals, and if required we will refer them into EAP or to external mental health providers for further support and/or treatment.

Often people feel numb and seem to be coping fine in the first few days but this can change over time. By following up at four time intervals we give everyone the opportunity to develop up positive self-care and coping strategies and access additional support should they require it. A small number of people who have been involved in a critical incident may go on to develop mental health disorders. It is not usually possible to tell which people will be affected until around 4 weeks after the initial incident. Our final follow-up is designed to pick up any signs of mental health disorders and refer individuals to longer term support and treatment.

Critical incidents, like EAP sessions, may involve confidential discussions with individuals affected by the incident. However we provide reports that summarise the activities carried out (numbers of people followed up, referrals on to EAP or external specialists) and that summarise themes and make recommendations to employers for possible actions and changes to policies that may be beneficial. Where possible and where it is in the best interests of the individuals' health and safety, we provide information to employers about appropriate support needs of individuals who have been affected by the incident.

Critical Incident Response is often a part of a company’s EAP, however we are also happy to discuss this as a standalone service.

All urgent calls for Rapid Response should be directed to our 1 300 687 327 number. This is answered 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Whether you are a current client or need help in an emergency, we can assist you.