Hancock County hosts Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Training

Hancock County hosts Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Training

Hancock County recently held a local Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) training event at New Palestine Wellness Center in December 2021. Hosted in partnership with Hancock Regional Hospital and Healthy365, this event sought to create a multidisciplinary team of facilitators to help treat the emotional wellness of our community and respond to traumatic events in a therapeutic way. 

What is CISM?

Critical Incident Stress Management, also known as CISM, is a proven tool that can be used by trained facilitators to help minimize the potentially harmful stress related symptoms associated with critical incidents. After a stressful event takes place, first responders can talk with a CISM facilitator to help promote a healthy response and accelerate the healing process. This three-day December 2021 training was led by Lindi Holt, PhD, NCEE, NRP of the Hendricks Regional Health Community Paramedicine Program and Kimble Richardson, MS, LMHC, LCSW, LMFT, LCAC of the Behavioral Health department of Community Health Network.

What goes into CISM training?

The extensive training took place over three days as a structured, supportive discussion to teach participants how to help others process trauma. “We can be there to support anybody from a doctor and hospital, to a fire/EMS team, to law enforcement who might need some time to think through what they’ve been through and emotionally deal with that,” explained Kim Kile, Director of Counseling at Greenfield Central High School.

“I hope that we don’t have to use it very often, but unfortunately I know that we will,” said Phillip Allen, Fortville Police Officer. “A lot of the training is focusing on various critical incidents we respond to that we may need to figure out how to cope with over the course of time.”

How will Hancock County use CISM?

There has been a small CISM team of seven people operating with the Hancock Health system  with great success thus far. “Hancock Health has had a Critical Incident Stress Management team active for about the last year,” said Amanda Everidge MSW, LSW, Director of Community Health Improvement and Hancock Co CISM Coordinator. “We have seen that by our team responding to traumatic events in various areas of our health system that it has really helped individuals process what they encounter, to understand their emotional reactions and move forward in a healthy way.”

The goal of this training was to expand the team to 29 local representatives from healthcare, emergency services, mental health providers, and other community partners as a county-wide effort to be prepared for treating mental wellness following any critical incident in Hancock County. 

“Our hope is to be able to use this training and the team that is receiving it to be able to reach out to individuals in Hancock County that have a crisis happening within their workplace, such as the police or fire department or healthcare organizations, to be able to offer assistance in the immediate time frame right after the incident,” said Tondra Crum Worley, Program Manager at Community Behavioral Health in Greenfield.

If you would like to learn more about CISM training or to call upon the team for your staff in need of support, you can contact aeveridge@hancockregional.org, ahinkle@hancockregional.org or 317-468-4231.