Crisis Response

Crisis Response

Crisis Response Services

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health/ Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS) has contracted with the Institute for Health and Recovery to provide online and on-site crisis response services to BSAS funded organizations throughout the Commonwealth.  The purpose of this initiative is to support staff and help them recover as quickly as possible after a critical incident.   It is well documented that having support after such experiences helps people cope and improves communication and morale.

What is a Critical Incident?

A critical incident is an abrupt, powerful event that overwhelms an individual’s or group of individuals’ ability to cope.  They include any life-threatening, extremely frightening, or exceedingly distressing incident.  Such events can have a significantly disturbing, powerful impact whether the event is experienced directly or indirectly. Some examples of critical incidents are:

  • Death of a client
  • Death of a co-worker
  • Suicide of client or co-worker
  • Violent events that threaten workplace safety
  • Significant events involving children, (i.e., removal of child from parent’s care)
  • Natural disasters or acts of terrorism

The intention of these services is to lend validation and support to staff, not to critique the way the organization responded during the crisis.  They are designed to encourage conversation relating to each person’s emotional reaction to the event.  IHR staff will lead a dialogue focusing on eliciting strengths, coping strategies, self-care, and community care.  

To access IHR’s crisis response services

Call the IHR Crisis Response Line at 617-661-9036

A member of IHR’s Trauma Team will take some initial information, and within 48 business hours a team member will contact the program and work with them to develop a plan for supporting staff.

The plan may include meetings with individuals and/or groups of staff members and/or meetings with individuals or groups of clients.