Stamas’ Critical Incident Stress Management team support bill headed to the governor

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Sen. Jim Stamas

Sen. Jim Stamas

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jim Stamas’ legislation to support the state’s Critical Incident Stress  Management (CISM) teams is on its way to the governor’s desk to be signed.

“Helping workers deal more effectively with critical stress is good for the employee, the employer and for the entire community,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “Michigan’s CISM teams help emergency service personnel — like our police, firefighters and EMS workers — deal with critical stress, such as a traumatic event or loss of a co-worker.

“These services have been tremendously helpful for people in high-stress professions. However, without assurances of confidentiality, many public safety workers who could be helped are not using these services.”

Senate Bill 444 would define Critical Incident Stress Management and its key components, as well as outline confidentiality provisions. Critical Incident Stress is defined as the actual or perceived event or situation that involves crisis, disaster, trauma or emergency.

There are approximately 56 CISM teams throughout Michigan registered with Michigan Crisis Response Association (MCRA). MCRA provides training and support that follows the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation model.

CISM teams respond to critical incidents, such as a natural disaster, assault, suicide or a death of a child or co-worker.

“A major benefit of the services provided by our CISM team services is the prevention of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,” Stamas said. “PSD is an example of how a critical event can impact and change a person’s ability to cope with daily life if the affected worker doesn’t get help.”

The bill is supported by the Fire Chiefs Association of Michigan, Michigan Association of Ambulance Services and Michigan Crisis Response Association.