Critical incident stress management for persons residing in institutions.

Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) approaches have proven themselves to be effective in mitigating the stress and anxiety that are often found in at-risk populations in the aftermath of traumatic incidents. A frequently overlooked group of persons at risk are those individuals who reside in a variety of institutions. Extensive research spanning a half century has shown these individuals to have heightened sensitivity to anxiety in general and traumatic events in particular. CISM approaches would appear to hold promise in assisting with these residents’ needs. This paper outlines a basic CISM approach that could be adopted and adapted by a variety of institutional settings for the special needs of their residents. Preincident, acute care, and postincident response initiatives are presented, and the implications for such program development are discussed.