Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM)

What is CISM?

Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) provides a 24/7 coordinated crisis intervention service following a traumatic event that has had an overwhelming impact on a group. The objective is to reduce negative impacts of an event on the groups and individuals involved. The CISM Team is comprised of volunteers who provide consultation services for members of our community impacted by crisis.

What is a Critical Incident?

A critical incident is an unusual, traumatic event that has an impact on groups of people and may overwhelm their ability to cope.

Line of duty death
Work site death
Near miss accident
Multiple casualties
Serious injury
Unusual nature of tragedy
Unique circumstances
Significant media attention
Compounding events
School/Team crisis
Well known victim
Visually traumatizing events

The CISM Team may provide the following services:

Coordination of resources
School Responses
Information Meetings (briefings)

The PACE CISM Team does NOT provide the following services:

Ongoing counseling/therapy
Operational debriefings
Crisis line services

A few common signals of a stress reaction:

Physical Cognitive Emotional Behavioural
chills confusion fear withdrawal
thirst nightmares guilt antisocial
fatigue uncertainty grief inability to rest
nausea hyper vigilance panic intense pacing
fainting suspiciousness denial loss of appetite
twitches intrusive images anxiety hyper-alert
vomiting blaming agitation substance abuse
dizziness poor problem-solving irritability
weakness poor abstract thinking depression
chest pain poor concentration intense anger
headache disorientation outbursts


Things to try

Appropriate physical exercise combined with relaxation and nutrition – structure your time – keep busy – talk to people – reach out – maintain as normal schedule as possible – don’t label yourself crazy – keep a journal – ensure plenty of rest – spend time with friends – stay away from alcohol and/or drugs – give yourself permission to feel rotten and share your feelings with others – do things that feel good to you – don’t make any “big” life decisions – eat well balanced & regular meals

CISM Team Objectives

STABILIZE individuals and groups to prevent escalation of stress reactions
MITIGATE acute signs and symptoms or stress
RESTORE individuals to adaptive functioning
FACILITATE access to higher level of care in necessary

Program Details

Program Partners:

  • County of Grande Prairie FCSS
  • RCMP Victims Services Units
  • Grande Prairie RCMP

For more information contact Pace

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