Here are a few tips when offering assistance:
listen carefully, but give private time.
Help with everyday tasks like cooking, cleaning and caring for the family
reassure them that they are safe.
avoid remarks like: "You're lucky it wasn't worse" or "be glad it didn't happen to you"
Don't take their anger or other negative feelings personally.
Provide encouragement by telling them that you are sorry such an event took place and you want to understand them.
Enlist the help of your family and friends.
ASK THEM TO READ THIS WEBSITE.
" Your loved on has been involved in an emotionally charged event known as a critical incident. No one is immue to Critical Incident Stress (CIS), regardless of years of experience. You can help them by becoming familiar with some of the signs and symptoms associated with CIS, " described here on through out this website.
The Following may help you deal more effectively with the emotions you experience after a traumatic event.
THINGS TO TRY:
WITHIN THE FIRST 24 - 48 HOURS PERIODS OF STRENUOUS PHYSICAL EXERCISE, RELAXATION WILL ALLEVIATE SOME OF THE PHYSICAL REACTIONS.
STRUCTURE YOUR TIME. KEEP BUSY.
YOU’RE NORMAL AND HAVING NORMAL REACTIONS. DON’T LABEL YOURSELF CRAZY.
TALK TO PEOPLE. TALK IS THE MOST HEALING MEDICINE.
BE AWARE OF NUMBING PAIN WITH OVERUSE OF DRUGS OR ALCOHOL, YOU DON’T NEED TO COMPLICATE THIS WITH A SUBSTANCE ABUSE PROBLEM.
REACH OUT. PEOPLE DO CARE.
MAINTAIN AS NORMAL A SCHEDULE AS POSSIBLE.
SPEND TIME WITH OTHERS.
HELP YOUR CO-WORKERS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE BY SHARING FEELINGS AND CHECKING OUT HOW THEY’RE DOING.
GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO FEEL ROTTEN AND SHARE YOUR FEELINGS WITH OTHERS.
KEEP A JOURNAL; WRITE YOUR WAY THROUGH THOSE SLEEPLESS HOURS.
DO THINGS THAT FEEL GOOD TO YOU.
REALIZE THOSE AROUND YOU ARE UNDER STRESS.
DON’T MAKE ANY BIG LIFE CHANGES.
MAKE AS MANY DAILY DECISIONS AS POSSIBLE, WHICH WILL GIVE YOU A FEELING OF CONTROL OVER YOUR LIFE
(I.E. IF SOMEONE ASKS YOU WHAT YOU WANT TO EAT, ANSWER THEM EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT SURE).
GET PLENTY OF REST.
REOCCURRING THOUGHTS, DREAMS, OR FLASHBACKS ARE NORMAL -- DON’T TRY TO FIGHT THEM, THEY’LL DECREASE OVER TIME AND BECOME LESS PAINFUL.
EAT WELL-BALANCED AND REGULAR MEALS (EVEN IF YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE IT).
DELAYED STRESS RESPONSE SYNDROME:
SOMETIMES A STRESS RESPONSE CAN BE DELAYED, AND YOU MAY NOT THINK IT IS ASSOCIATED WITH THE TRAUMATIC EVENT. COMMON SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS INCLUDE:
INCREASED FEELINGS OF DEPRESSION, ANXIETY AND IRRITABILITY
CHANGES IN EATING HABITS
LOSS OF EMOTIONAL CONTROL
FEELING OF ISOLATION
LOWERING SEXUAL DRIVE
MENSTRUAL CYCLE CHANGES
LOWERED INTEREST IN LOVED ONES
IF THE CONDITION BECOMES MORE ACUTE, YOU MAY EXPERIENCE:
FEAR OF REPETITION OF THE EVENT
Self-Care for you and Family
International Association of Fire Fighters Local 18 / Vancouver Fire Rescue Services