Critical incident stress debriefing

Critical Incident Management

Sometimes employees are involved in distressing or unusual incidents that arise from their work. When an incident or a chronic stress situation has a major impact on a staff member’s emotions and well-being, it is regarded a critical.

Psychological Debriefing is an essential component of a workplace Critical Incident s Management Service. Debriefing is a process to assist people to use their abilities to overcome the effects of critical incidents by:

  • Forming a clear idea of the events

  • Taking stock of the thoughts and reactions they have experienced

  • Identifying current or likely Critical Incident Stress symptoms

  • Providing information about normal stress responses to abnormal experiences

  • Helping to mobilise problem-solving strategies

  • Supporting personal needs


  • Are preventative interventions designed to reduce the likelihood of symptoms and encourage self-managed recovery to take place after the incident.

  • Provide an important opportunity for the assessment and early identification of staff who may need treatment for psychological difficulties.

  • Promote group support and initiate personal integration of the experience.

  • Are intended as a normal operational procedure for managing critical incidents, and do not imply any form of disability, weakness or unsuitability in the workers.