Post-traumatic intervention

Duration: 3:39


An event is considered traumatic when a person experiences, witnesses, or is confronted with an event where there was the threat of or actual death or serious injury. The person responded to the event with strong feelings of fear, helplessness, or horror.

Usually, traumatic events are not frequent within an organization. When they do occur, it’s critically important to recognize their psychological and organizational impacts, and to know where to get help.

Multiple examples of traumatic events include:

  • Sudden death of a colleague (due to health issues, fatal accident or suicide)
  • Occupational accident with severe injury
  • Physical assault
  • Armed robbery

Other emotionally-charged events may also have traumatic and/or disorganizing components for people and organizations:

  • Severe disease of a colleague
  • Death of a colleague’s child
  • Etc.

Reactions such as these are commonly observed in victims:

  • Overwhelming emotional tension
  • Crying spells
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling emotionally numb
  • Acute fear of dying
  • Hopelessness
  • Images of being dead
  • Confusion
  • Flashbacks

Employees who experience traumatic events may:

  • Compulsively describe the event over and over again
  • Share their feelings about the event
  • Review events with excessive attention to how they unfolded
  • Replay or analyze thoughts, emotions and actions verbally or in thought

To effectively help these people, the support service provides a crisis management team available 24/7.

It’s critically important to contact the assistance service as soon as possible since post-traumatic intervention is most effective when carried out within 72 hours of an event.

The objectives of post-traumatic intervention are to:

  • Mitigate or avoid post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms
  • Work through emotions, verbalize and address the event
  • Learn to cope and carry on with everyday life free of disturbing fears and thoughts

During the call, a professional will assist the person in charge in assessing the situation and will deploy a team of specialists onsite as needed.

As required, one or several counsellors will meet with the employees most affected by the event and will schedule group debriefings. Group meetings last about 45 to 60 minutes.

They will also convey specific recommendations to the management team with respect to subsequent days, physical workplace environment, etc.

To find out more about this topic, we suggest you read the reference document.

In case of any questions, doubts or a specific need for support, don’t hesitate to contact the specialized support service offered to the eligible individuals.