Critical Incident Stress Management


Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) is an adaptive short term helping process that focuses solely on an immediate and identifiable problem. It spans pre-incident preparedness to acute crisis to post-crisis follow up.

Its purpose is to enable people to return to their daily routine more quickly and with less likelihood of experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder.

Critical incidents are traumatic events that cause powerful emotional reactions in people who are exposed to those events such as:-

  • Line of duty deaths
  • Suicide of a colleague
  • Serious work related injury
  • Multi-casualty / disaster / terrorism incidents
  • Events with a high degree of threat to the personnel
  • Significant events involving children
  • Events in which the victim is known to the personnel
  • Events with excessive media interest
  • Events that are prolonged and end with a negative outcome
  • Any significantly powerful, overwhelming distressing event