The Southern Colorado Crisis Support Team is one of the more than half dozen teams that comprise the Colorado Crisis Support Network and is one of hundreds of Crisis Support and Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Teams within the United States utilizing ICISF training and methodology.
Colorado Crisis Support Network Teams
Our Team is an all volunteer organization of mental health professionals (clinicians) and emergency service personnel (peers), serving all counties in the Southeastern quarter of the state of Colorado. We are available to assist Crisis Support Teams in other areas of Colorado and bordering states.
Clinicians may include:
* Medical Mental Health Professionals
* Non-Medical Mental Health Practitioners
* Lay Counselors/Therapists
Peers may include:
* Law Enforcement Personnel
* Fire Personnel
* Emergency Medical Personnel
* Search & Rescue Personnel
* Emergency Dispatchers
The purpose of the CST is to provide crisis intervention services to emergency service personnel with regard to high stress incidents encountered in the course of their work.
These services may take many forms:
* Pre-incident Education – educates emergency service workers about how to identify high stress incidents, and why it is important to do so.
* Defusings - providing informal crisis intervention services to emergency service workers on site, at the time of a high stress incident.
* Debriefings - providing formal crisis intervention services to emergency service workers one to several days following a high stress incident.
* Referrals - providing referrals to appropriate mental health organizations and agencies for additional help following the conclusion of crisis intervention services.
Crisis Support Teams, in general, do not provide services to the general public, but may provide appropriate referrals.
It is well known that emergency service workers have one of the highest turnover rates of any business or industry. This is due to the large number of high stress incidents encountered by emergency service personnel.
It has only been recognized in recent years that physical, emotional, and behavioral problems may be caused by unresolved job-related stress. Such stresses can follow a single dramatic incident, or build up over time due to a series of smaller incidents.
Symptoms can include:
* Changes in sleep patterns
* Changes in appetite
* Inability to concentrate
* Speech problems
* Reliving incident over and over
* Roller-coaster emotions
When should you call the Team?
In general, organizations know when a critical incident has been encountered or when a series of incidents is causing undue stress. There are, however, certain kinds of situations that will invariably affect emergency service personnel:
* Line of Duty death
* Suicide of a coworker
* Officer involved shooting
* Serious injury or death of a child
* Multiple casualty incidents.
* Prolonged incidents that result in a loss
* Incidents involving a family member or a friend
* Life threatening experiences
* Events with extensive or excessive media involvement
* Any significant line of duty event which overwhelms normal coping mechanisms
It has been demonstrated that properly applied crisis intervention techniques specifically carried out by clinicians and peer support personnel can go a long way toward minimizing the negative after effects of high stress incidents for emergency service workers.
It is easiest for individuals not directly involved in an incident to recognize that outside help may be required, but anyone may sound the alarm.
How can I request help from the Southern Colorado Crisis Support Team?
Call: 719-576-1200 (24 Hours)
Defusing and Debriefing for your emergency services agency can be arranged by calling and asking that the Team Coordinator be paged. Your call will be returned by the Team Coordinator and/or Team Leader, who will need:
* Incident particulars
* Possible meeting time/place
* Important phone numbers
Educational programs for your agency can also be arranged by asking for the phone number of the team Education Committee Chairperson. Both half hour and one hour presentations are available.
For additional information on arranging a debriefing
*All of our team calls through Stratmoor Hills Fire Department Dispatch
***Our Crisis Support Team does not charge for services, and has no formal source of funding. We depend upon donations from private individuals, businesses, mental health and emergency services agencies to support our modest operational needs.
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