Fayetteville Policies and Procedures  404.1 

Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD)

Critical Incident Stress Debriefing is the process by which individuals who have experienced or been exposed to a traumatic event can be professionally helped to resolve the concerns or anxieties that such an experience often causes. Faculty and staff should contact Human Resources for assistance with the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Students should contact the Student Health Center for assistance through Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS).

What is a Critical Incident?

A critical incident is any event that causes an unusually intense stress reaction. The distress people experience after a critical incident limits their ability to cope, impairs their ability to adjust, and negatively impacts the work environment. Examples of traumatic events that produce such reactions include:

  • A coworker’s or student’s death or serious illness
  • Suicide
  • A violent or threatening incident in the work setting
  • Natural disaster that affects the workers’ ability to function in the workplace
  • Traumatic accidents that occur in the workplace

Critical Incident Stress Debriefing is a process that prevents or limits the development of post-traumatic stress in people exposed to critical incidents. Professionally conducted debriefings help people cope with, and recover from an incident’s aftereffects. CISD enables participants to understand that they are not alone in their reactions to a distressing event, and provides them with an opportunity to discuss their thoughts and feelings in a controlled, safe environment.

University of Arkansas CISD Services

Any staff member may identify an incident and report it through his/her department manager. A unit may arrange directly for CISD services or may wish to first consult with Human Resources.

Provider Phone No. Availability Cost
Student Health Center - CAPS 575-5276 24 hrs. No charge to students at UA
Employee Assistance Program - EAP 973-9072 24 hours No charge if EAP can provide the service
Counselors in Residence   Individual Residence Halls  
Council of Religious Organizations   22 religious organizations listed in Campus Telephone Directory  

Reformatted for Web May 29, 2014
Revised July 1, 2001