Dr. Cipriano’s Blog Entry from Mesa, AZ
An empowering training was facilitated at the Mesa Public Safety Training Facility. There were several attendees from all over the state of Arizona that participated in learning about the effects of critical incidents and how to support fellow public safety professionals soon after experiencing such an incident(s). Differences between debriefing(s) and defusing(s) demobilization(s) and crisis management briefings were discussed and processed along with the clinical challenges that may develop following such a critical incident or series of incidents such as post traumatic stress and suicidality that would warrant a referral for clinical attention to a mental health professional.
Educating those to prevent stigma was highlighted and encouraged. Knowledge is an empowerment tool that manages such stress resulting from critical incidents. The importance for having a mental health professional connected to a peer support team was significant and highly recommended. Ongoing training, consultations, referrals, and cultivation of trust are some of the many benefits for having a mental health professional connected with peer support teams. The importance of confidentiality was also discussed as an imperative component in the development of peer support teams conducting such services. CISD is not therapy, however, confidentiality is a vital ingredient to the success of such a service and a peer support program. Transparency for particular limitations was discussed and recommended to peer support teams who provide such services up front. Such exceptions vary from state to state, but generally include abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation of the elderly and/or vulnerable adults, children, suicidality, homicidality, and children/adolescents exposed to domestic violence. Criminal acts may also be included, specific to public safety departments/agencies policies and procedures. Overall, there was an abundance of participation and the learning curve exceeded the goals initially established. See you at our next training!