EAP Corner

Critical Incident and Stress Debriefing Services

Is your business ready to handle a traumatic event in your office?  One of the benefits of providing Wholeness Healings Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for employers, employees and their families is our Critical Incident and Stress Debriefing Services.  This service helps provide stress debriefing to meet those impacted by a traumatic event as soon as possible.  Over the last year and a half we have been asked by several different companies to conduct three critical incident debriefings to help the businesses deal with traumatic office events.  Both of the workplace events had an impact on their employees and their well-being.

So, what is Critical Incident and Stress Debriefing and why provide that service?  It is de-briefing whenever a traumatic workplace incident takes place involving an employee or business.  “There are oftentimes, unusually strong emotions attached to the event which have the potential to interfere with that person’s ability to function either at the crisis workplace scene or at home” (Davis, 2013).  The most common reasons employers contact critical response services are: employee deaths, suicide by employee or employee’s family members, crime in the workplace, or workplace accidents. Counselors trained in providing stress debriefing are available to meet with those impacted as soon as possible, for as long as needed.

Contacting your EAP immediately after a critical event can make a difference in helping employees get back on their feet and minimize workplace disruptions. According to several research studies, when properly delivered, “critical incident response services help decrease symptoms, such as, severe stress experienced by individuals following a workplace trauma. When integrated with other behavioral health programs, these services help reduce absences, disability, and worker’s compensation claims after a critical event” (Meyer & Hullet).

Wholeness Healing EAP provides state certified mental health providers who serve as the coordinators of the Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Service.   This de-briefing allows the individuals impacted by the critical incident to process their thoughts and feelings individually and to help employees realize that their reactions are understandable, normal and likely temporary.  Our crisis response team will educate the employees on the signs of cognitive, behavioral and emotional symptoms commonly experienced after a traumatic event as well as discuss coping strategies.  It can also involve some managing of emotions in small groups as well as directing those in charge (school crisis team, HR people) in how to care for their people in the following days.

Some employees may have unresolved personal losses or traumas in their life that may surface during the critical incident which makes their reaction to the incident even more intense.  Our EAP counselors provide counseling to help process reactions, trauma, and grief, in a confidential setting to help the employee return to normal functioning.  Many times this can happen one week after the crisis, as this seems to be when most people struggle the most, after the shock has dissipated enough to allow them too really “feel”.

Critical Incident Debriefing is an important part of the employer assistance program (EAP).  It also sends an important message to employees that their employers care enough to provide them EAP counselors to help them process their feelings about what happened regarding the traumatic event.  If you are interested in providing our EAP for your employees and their families contact Dawyn Otto at 308-382-5297 Ext. 127.

Works Cited

Davis, J. P. (2013). Critical incident stress debriefing from a traumatice event. Psycology Today.

Meyer, Z., & Hullet, J. M. (2014). Responding to traumatic events that affect the workplace. Retrieved from www.optum.com: www.optum.com




  • Provisional Licensed Mental Health Practitioner


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