Critical incidents include situations that cause severe stress to employees and that may disrupt present or future productivity in the work setting. Critical incidents include unexpected deaths of coworkers, multi-casualty injuries due to accidents or disasters, and traumatic events or situations impacting the workplace.
Best Practice in Critical Incident Response
Current research in the areas of grief, loss, and trauma indicate that, despite experiencing difficult emotions, we are generally wired to be resilient in times of duress. Typically, immediate response to a critical incident should be focused on securing a safe environment and meeting basic needs of those impacted by the incident. Following immediate safety-specific response, Psychological First Aid — which focuses on provision of non-intrusive support and practical information — can be the most helpful response to workplace traumas and/or disasters.
CSEAP Response to Critical Incidents
CSEAP is available, following a workplace incident or trauma, to provide practical grief, loss, and trauma information as well as guidance to employees on accessing CSEAP services. This type of support can be most helpful 3 to 10 business days following an event for homogeneous groups of employees (employees from the same unit, word group, or who know each other well in departments). Outside of multi-casualty, mass-impact, or natural disaster events when CSEAP has been tasked with providing Psychological First Aid response, CSEAP typically does not provide daylong or multi-day on-site response.
CSEAP staff are trained to provide Psychological First Aid, one-on-one grief counseling to individual employees, and consultation to supervisors and leaders related to workplace impact resulting from the critical incident.
Critical Incident Services
|Impacted Party||Available Services|
|Employees||Grief and trauma-related counseling is available through CSEAP, free-of-charge, to all state employees. Call CSEAP at 1-800-821-8154 to request in-person or phone counseling. Urgent appointments, in-person or by phone, may be available within 24 hours of an incident impacting the workplace.|
|Supervisors||Supervisors are invited to contact CSEAP for consultation related to supporting employees through an incident or death that is impacting the workplace. Consultation is typically scheduled as a phone session by calling 1-800-821-8154.|
|Agency or Department Leaders||CSEAP is available to provide on-site supportive education to your employees about trauma response, grief, and resilience following a critical incident. Best practice indicates that this type of response be voluntary, requested by impacted parties, and take place days following an event or incident. Call 1-800-821-8154 to request a 30-45 minute on-site presentation.|
Do you have general questions or has your team recently experienced a critical incident or traumatic situation impacting the workplace?
Scroll down for downloadable PDF handouts and information. You may also contact CSEAP at 303-866-4314 and request a consultation with Janeen Haller-Abernethy to discuss your situation and options for CSEAP response.
- When a co-worker is grieving
- Death of CoWorker
- Critical Incidents and Traumatic Events
- Managers Guidebook to Suicide Postvention
- Critical Incidents and Traumatic Events - Tips for Supervisors
- Tips for Supervisors: Traumatic Events Impacting the Workplace
- Response to an Employee Death