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Critical Incident Stress Response

Critical Incident Stress Response

What is a Critical Incident Response?

Provided when severely stressful events occur. Our trained facilitators respond on-site within 48 to 72 hours following the critical incident. Research has shown this to be the window of time where people get the optimal clinical benefit from the service. Sometimes as soon as 24 hours after the event a Critical Incident Response (CIR) can be helpful. The goal is to minimize the damage created by the event and to speed the recovery process for both personnel and the organization.

Canopy's trauma response includes:

   • Supervisor / manager consultation
   • Group debriefings at the worksite
   • Individual counseling
   • Educational written materials
   • Follow–up

Following trauma exposure, an individual experiences both physical and psychological symptoms. CIR is a practice that allows survivors to both process and reflect on the traumatic events they've experienced.

CIR is a step-by-step process that promotes resiliency and recovery for individuals who have been exposed to high levels of stress and/or trauma.

CIR by a trained professional helps individuals process traumatic experiences in a one-on-one or group settings. The debriefing also allows the trauma survivor(s) to reflect on the incident's impact. Canopy also offers sessions specific to people of color to help address their experiences and concerns.

What defines a Critical Incident?

Anyone who has experienced trauma, or a catastrophic event may benefit from a CIR.

   • Sudden death
   • Incidents involving children
   • Serious injury
   • A threat to an individual's physical and/or psychological safety and wellbeing
   • A distressing situation or event that profoundly changes or disrupts an individual's physical or psychological functioning

When Is Critical Incident Response Helpful?

Critical Incident Responses are developed to provide a safe, open, and non-judgmental space for trauma survivors, enabling each participant to share their initial reactions and emotions following a critical incident. The group sessions can reduce trauma impact, help survivors recover, and identify those participants who require additional support.

During these group sessions, the facilitator helps participants understand their emotional reactions, validates their responses, and provides stress management tools and resources for continued support. Although similar to a therapy session, a CIR is not intended to replace individual or group therapy.