Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM)

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The First Nations Health Authority assists First Nations Communities and approaches community healing by assisting individuals in Crisis.

Critical Incident Stress is the physical, emotional and mental reactions that go along with living and working day to day in the midst of pain, suffering, chaos, trauma, evil and loss. 

A critical incident is any incident that causes a person to have a strong emotional or physical reaction that has the potential to overwhelm normal coping abilities.  The incident is usually a tragic or traumatic event such as, but not limited to:

  • Serious trauma or death of a loved one or colleague
  • Witnessing accidents or incidents with violence involved
  • Incidents of physical, sexual or mental abuse
  • Suicide of someone close or related
  • Mass community evacuations/ personal relocation resulting from flooding and/or fires
Critical Insident Stress is a...Normal Reaction...in Normal People...to Highly Abnormal Events.

Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) support and educational services to First Nations communities, and their members, during critical incidents and their aftermath. 

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Immediate Crisis Intervention
  • Crisis Intervention is NOT psychotherapy: it is a specialized and acute emergency mental health intervention that requires specialized training.  Often CISM is referred to as “emotional First Aid”.
Ongoing Support
  • Initial Crisis Intervention with FN Bands, and FN Band Health Authorities, in collaboration with multi–agencies, to facilitate community healing from Crisis Incidents.
  • The Need for appropriate follow up services and referrals, when necessary, will be supported.
  • Spiritual Care and Self Care.

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CISM Intervention Highlights

  • Psychological Crisis Intervention
  • Resistance , Resiliency and Recovery
  • Basic Crisis Intervention Communication
  • Suicide Intervention
  • Common psychological and behavioural crisis reactions
Some common critical stress reactions are:
  • Physical or emotional fatigue
  • Anxiety, irritability, or agitation
  • Apathy or depression
  • Difficulty concentrating/making decisions
  • Disrupted sleep, nightmares, flashbacks, hyper-vigilance
  • Overuse of drugs, alcohol or prescription medications
  • Desire to spend more time alone than usual
  • Suicidal Impulse