Ohio Department of Health
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Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Services

CISM is a program offered to State of Ohio agencies and employees. The CISM services will address the needs of state employees who may be exposed to or experience critical incidents in or outside the work place.
The CISM services are designed to help individuals return to normal recovery due to the reactions of a traumatic event or a critical incident. In addition, pre-incident education and training is available to agency employees and managers.
In the event of a critical incident. Ohio EAP staff are available to assist in determining what services would be most beneficial for the situation or the circumstance. Call us for consultation, on-site support, interventions and/or post-incident education.
CISMs are conducted on-site by a team of experienced and credentialed professionals from the Ohio EAP. Participation in this service is voluntary; however, all affected employees should be encouraged to attend to assist those who are experiencing normal symptoms of stress brought on by normal reactions to abnormal situations or events.


Employees benefit from a CISM because it:


  • Reduces stress and feelings of isolation and abnormality resulting from a critical incident;
  • Prevents the onset of delayed psychological reactions and promotes well-being;
  • Provides peer support and education about stress reactions;
  • Improves coping skills for future incidents.
Stress Responses


Some normal stress responses to critical incidents that may indicate a need for outside help include:


  • Changes in sleep patterns
  •  Intestinal upsets
  •  Anxiety
  • Flashbacks, nightmares
  • Difficulties concentrating
  • Change in eating habits
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • “Startle” reactions
  • Feelings of anger or guilt
 Role of the Supervisor

All supervisors/managers are responsible for recognizing situations appropriate for a CISM in order to initiate and support such a process at their work site. If you or someone you know has experienced a critical incident, contact your supervisor or the personnel office at your facility or agency to discuss the situation. The supervisor should contact the Ohio EAP to determine if a debriefing should be scheduled.

CISM services usually work most effectively with a group; individual assistance is available on request. We will assist you in getting in touch with agency human resources or management authorized to invite an Ohio EAP professional to your worksite.