Episode 3: CISM… When the People You Turn to Are Broken with Robert Boren

Listen here, or download on iTunes, Podcast Addicts, or Podcast Republic. 


First of all, Robert Boren is a rock star, and our IMMENSE THANKS go out to him for doing this show for us. Mental health is not addressed in our profession. Stigma doesn’t even begin to describe it. As you can tell in your own lives, traumatic experiences have a funny way of manifesting at the worst possible moments. While CISM is not meant to address long-term conditions such as PTSD, or even Acute Stress Disorder for that matter, it is in place to facilitate conversations about strenuous, difficult situations. So why is CISM important? CISM allows for an opportunity for discussion in a non-judgmental environment. This is not a place for critiquing your peers or to play Monday Morning Quarterback. Working in the field is stressful. It downright sucks some days, and you need a safe place to emotionally vomit before going back to the grind. No one is mentally prepared to hold a dead baby or witness a fatal car accident and be fine the next hour. Bruce Wayne, John McClain, and Rooster Cogburn were all badasses. But they were all fictional, and Hollywood never bothered to glamorize the aftermath of the destruction they witnessed. The human mind can only process so much grief, death, and disease without snapping a little. CISM is about creating a network of support within the emergency service field. Watch out for your brothers and sisters. For those in NE Indiana, the NE CISM Team services Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wells, and Whitley county. Don’t be afraid to call. There is no weakness in admitting that a call got under your skin.

To activate the NE Indiana CISM Team, call the TRAA dispatch line at: (260)-420-8722

To learn more, visit the NE Indiana CISM Team Facebook page or http://www.icifs.org

2 thoughts on “Episode 3: CISM… When the People You Turn to Are Broken with Robert Boren

  1. Several meta-analyses show that at best there is no benefit of CISM/CISD. Some studies have shown an increase in recovery time and increased rates of depression and PTSD out to five years following CISD vs no intervention.

    The federal government and DoD have abandoned CISM debriefing in favor of individualized targeted assistance for those who need it. Even the WHO recommends against it.

    The most effective way to reduce and manage post incident stress is peer-to-peer counseling. For the sake of our partners and our profession, agencies must create appropriate mechanisms for individual assessment and care following “traumatic” events.

    It’s long past time for CISM/CISD to go the way of backboards for spinal immobilization, NRB’s on every chest pain patient and two liters of crystalloid infused into sick trauma patient.

    See below for a few examples of literature discussing CISM:

    Cochrane Review – Debriefing for preventing PTSD

    Lancet – Debriefing after psychological trauma

    CISM: benefit or risk for emergency services?


    1. CPR Podcast

      Thank you for your input! We read each of the studies that you sent us, in addition to several others that do seem to support your opinion. While we agree with the legitimacy of the studies, it seems that there is still much research to be done as they were small in nature. The analyses do seem to support the theory that CISM could be detrimental in nature, but most concurred it could have been merely ineffective. We are looking forward to learning more on this subject in the future! It is our hope that in some way, services will eventually be able to cater to each individual as you had mentioned, and tailor counseling (if they need it) to their specific needs. Please feel free to keep in touch and send us more information as you may gather it. Thank you again for your information.


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