How to Respond to Traumatic Events in the Workplace

When your workplace is disrupted by a tragic event, employees may feel overwhelmed, anxious, insecure, and distracted. Everyone reacts differently to stress events, but tragic workplace events are serious and can cause significant physical, cognitive, and emotional reactions. A team of experienced mental health consultants can help reduce the negative impact of the event and its long-term impact on the organization, speed recovery, and return people to everyday life. Critical event interventions can also prevent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Types of traumatic events

Tragedies come in many forms. Typical traumatic events include the unexpected death of an employee, a chronic illness of an employee, an injury at work, robberies, shootings and other acts of violence, criminal attacks, industrial or natural disasters, or even organizational restructuring or dismissal. People who have witnessed the event or know the people affected can experience a number of symptoms of the stress response, such as:

  • Insomnia, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, racing heart, headache and loss of appetite
  • Nightmares, hyper vigilance, panic attacks, intrusive images and poor concentration
  • Feelings of anxiety, guilt, depression, irritability, anger and fear
  • Social withdrawal and self-medication with alcohol or other drugs [1]

Critical events can also trigger memories of previous intense stressors.

How Magellan’s Employee Assistance Program Can Help

Magellan’s Critical Incident Response (CIR) team consists of specially trained clinical staff who are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. CIR Consultants help employees process and manage the emotional and physical effects of a traumatic event.

The first step is to consult with you about what has happened and assess the situation. Once the situation is assessed and an action plan is developed, we will send a CIR consultant to your workplace within a reasonable and agreed time frame. The CIR consultant will carry out a structured intervention on site to help deal with the incident, if necessary, and will also be available to managers and individual employees if needed. Services are confidential and provide employees with the resources and support they need to cope with the stress and anxiety caused by the event and return to normal life.

Our broad spectrum of CIR services includes management consultancy, telephone crisis support, group and individual support for affected employees, as well as follow-up care.

Critical incidents and tragic events occur in all types of companies and industries. Preparation with an existing CIR program is key to effectively managing the aftermath and associated risks.

 

 

[1] https: //www.osha.gov / SLTC/emergencypreparedness/guides/critical.html

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