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Critical Incident Stress Management
CISM Overview PDF Print E-mail

ODEMSA, in partnership with VCU, is offering a CISM course that includes Individual and Group Crisis Intervention Sept 26-30, 2016.  Click here to register.


What is CISM? CISM is a comprehensive, integrative, multicomponent crisis intervention system. CISM is considered comprehensive because it consists of multiple crisis intervention components, which functionally span the entire temporal spectrum of a crisis. CISM interventions range from the pre-crisis phase through the acute crisis phase, and into the post-crisis phase. CISM is also considered comprehensive in that it consists of interventions which may be applied to individuals, small functional groups, large groups, families, organizations, and even communities.

The ODEMSA CISM team is available 24/7 and can be activated through the VA EOC by calling (804) 674-2400 or (800) 468-8892.  The EOC will contact the ODEMSA CISM Administrative Coordinator who will contact you promptly.

ODEMSA CISM Team Objectives:

Provide proactive educational programs to the community regarding Critical Incident Stress Management, Suicide Prevention, P.T.S.D., Depression, and other emergency mental health issues.
Provide requested crisis interventions following critical incidents.
Provide the psychological and educational follow-up and community support services as needed.

The CISM Team utilizes the following approach in accordance with the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation Model
  • Pre-incident Education: Pre-incident traumatic stress education is the most important component of CISM. The primary aim of stress education is to establish a protective barrier against traumatic stress and to teach stress management strategies so individuals can quickly reduce and eliminate significant stress generated by traumatic events.
  • Defusing: This intervention typically occurs in the range of 3-12 hours post incident for those who were on the front lines. It offers an opportunity for ventilation, normalization, and education.
  • Crisis Management Briefing: Using community leaders and others, this intervention has many applications to help mitigate stress reactions, assist in recovery, and provide local resources.
  • Individual "1-on-1's": These are the most common intervention services we provide. These are often conducted by team members shortly after a critical incident, but occur at other times, as well. Individuals needing on-going psychological support will be referred for assessment to appropriate local mental health professionals.
  • Psychological Debriefing: The formal seven-stage debriefing is utilized based upon assessment of need and usually held within 1-10 days after the conclusion of the incident.
  • Follow-up and Family Services: This is a means by which we "touch base" to see if things are going well. This is another area where we rely heavily on our trained mental health professionals and seek to find local resources that will allow them to return to effective functioning or the "new normal."
Last Updated on Monday, 22 August 2016 15:06
CISM Frequently Asked Questions PDF Print E-mail
Last Updated on Thursday, 07 April 2016 14:08