Recognizing Critical Incident Stress
Critical Incidents may produce a wide range of normal stress reactions, which can appear immediately at the scene, a few hours later or even a few days or weeks after the event. Stress reactions usually occur in five different areas: cognitive (thinking), emotional (feelings), physical (body), behavioral (actions) and spiritual. The more reactions experienced usually the greater the impact on the individual. The longer the reactions last the more potential for permanent harm to the individual and their relationships at home or work. Many healthy people have worked in emergency services only to quit or retire (sometimes prematurely) with broken spirits, damaged bodies, disturbed home lives, changed personalities and lost dreams because of critical incident stress.
If you, or someone you know in emergency services, is struggling to cope with critical incident stress (the reactions are intense and affects their lives in or out of emergency services for more than 1 month) then please seek help.
CISM team 24-hour emergency hotline at 1-888-389-3473