Are you Aware and Prepared?
Join the HR 30 webinar on 9/17/2019 from 12pm to 12:30pm, EST, presented by Susie Owen, LISW-CP, LCSW, CEAP. Learn the current DEM model & explain the distinction between the types of appropriate services available to provide your employees support in times of distress.
Sadly, violent acts have become all too common place as we are frequently exposed to media coverage of random acts of violence. According to Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs “safety and security” is one of our most basic primary needs as humans. When this sense of safety and security is violated by direct or indirect threats not only can it be disruptive and unsettling, but it can also have long term consequences when not addressed. We witness this when we see or hear about military personnel returning home with emotionally crippling symptoms of PTSD following exposure to traumatic events.
In addition to the OSHA regulations that require organizations to provide a safe work environment for employees most organizations also recognize the humane reasons for providing a safe hazard free workplace. Yet despite all the precautions we may take unpredictable impactful events still occur such as natural disasters, accident and injuries on the job, devastating health concerns that a co-worker may experience, or the sudden death of an employee. What these occurrences have in common is the impact they may have on employees as distressing events that may overwhelm and distract along with disrupting business as usual in the workplace.
In his article “The Trauma of Being Alive” psychiatrist Mark Epstein writes “Trauma is not just the result of major disasters. It does not happen to only some people. An undercurrent of trauma runs through ordinary life, shot through as it is with the poignancy of impermanence. I like to say that if we are not suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, we are suffering from pre-traumatic stress disorder. There is no way to be alive without being conscious of the potential for disaster. One way or another, death (and its cousins: old age, illness, accidents, separation and loss) hangs over all of us. Nobody is immune. Our world is unstable and unpredictable, and operates, to a great degree and despite incredible scientific advancement, outside our ability to control it.“ His quote speaks to the fragileness of our daily lives and while we may be mindful of this external locus of control, we also must rely on our own internal resiliency to manage our day to day stressors in addition to these existential threats. As organizations it is important to be aware of and prepared for appropriately managing the response when one of these unpredictable events may occur. The number one myth of workplace violence is “it can’t happen here” and so we must shed this denial by not only taking preventive steps but also committing to the restoration and recovery of our employees well- being post incident.
Dating back to the late 90’s with the Columbine and US Postal Service shootings (going “postal” has become an actual phrase in the dictionary), we in the EAP field have recognized the need to provide necessary support to organizations and their people post incident to assist with recovery and the restoration of a sense of safety. There has been an evolution of approaches over the past couple of decades and EAP’s have gone from referring to our service of support as “Critical Incident Debriefings” (CID) to the more current label of “Disruptive Event Management” (DEM). The latter label more accurately describes and includes all the possible incidents that may occur ranging in impact from minor to major disruptions. When surveyed on what organizations value most about their High Touch EAP many cite the consultation and onsite support following a disruptive event. Yet, often, HR professionals while recognizing the need to provide support to their employees are unsure of what to ask for or what may be provided by their EAP.
Attend this HR 30 presentation on September 10, 2019 at noon which will provide an overview of the current DEM model and explain the distinction between the types of appropriate services available for providing your employees support in times of distress. While we cannot prevent unforeseeable events from occurring, we can, at least, be well informed and prepared for assisting our employees post incidents. Recent research on resiliency and assisting employees move forward will also be shared.
Presenter Susie Owen, LISW-CP, LCSW, CEAP
Tuesday, September 17th, 2019 from 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM, EDT