Researchers in the field of disaster mental health warn that the emotional and psychological effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will have an enduring impact on humanity. Critical incident stress management (CISM) is a strategic approach to fostering resilience in people in times of crisis and disaster. The CISM continuum of care is the most commonly used strategic planning system for disaster mental health, with the goal of promoting wellness through planning and preparation, providing resilience-building interventions, and supporting access to treatment rehabilitation. Offered in collaboration with the McHenry County Mental Health Board, Northwestern Medicine, and other community partners, CISM interventions are designed to help your organization navigate this difficult time with early interventions to enhance individual and organizational resilience. Interventions may include education, one-on-one or family sessions, and pastoral care. Additional options include small group interventions such as crisis management briefings and critical incident stress debriefings.
Goals of these resilience-building interventions:
• Lessen the psychological and emotional impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic
• Identify normal stress reactions
• Encourage a natural recovery process and skill-building
• Support individuals and organizations in restoring adaptive functioning skills
• Determine need for further support