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Mental Health Support

Psychological Support – the Golden Thread that runs through all Responses

Overview

GoCrisis responds to a wide variety of industries and incidents. The two most recent events involved an airline and a hotel group. Our response capability was not hindered by the lockdowns in the UK during the pandemic. Two clients asked for our help after operational incidents to support the staff and families of those involved and of course, we were able to respond. With lateral thinking and some adjustments, the psychological support remained a core part of how we plan for and respond to our clients.

Setting the Scene – Case Study 1.

The recent Covid 19 pandemic left all organisations adjusting to new ways of working. GoCrisis was no different and has always provided a high standard of psychological support to affected people. The pandemic had an impact on not only how our clients could respond but also how we could respond, whilst keeping everyone safe. A recent report by the ‘Health Foundation’ (1) found that the decrease in coping mechanisms due to travel restrictions and also a reduction in formal support left people unable to access psychological support through the normal channels in many cases. A flagship airline client tragically lost crew members in a road accident. We were asked to support the families and friends of the crew members. There were added challenges as it was during the early days of the pandemic and also on a public holiday. Our team understood that having that support, someone to talk to, to listen to them was vital in the early days of the devastating news and we were ready and operational within two hours of receiving the activation call from our client.

Actions Taken

  • A 24/7 dedicated phone support line was activated
  • An experienced team was activated and introduced by name to the families. They knew there was someone available to them, whenever they needed, who understood their situation – they did not have to keep repeating their story
  • Someone who could build the trust and support and offer help when the families needed it
  • A close link between the families and the client so feedback and actions could be communicated quickly and efficiently
  • Advice on the process of repatriation and burial during a pandemic – all of their questions could be answered quickly, truthfully and openly
  • Support for staff who were impacted by the loss of their colleague through a dedicated phone number
  • Daily reports to the client both written and by conference call to ensure open and accurate communication was maintained throughout the response

The impact was the families were able to access the support they wanted and needed at a convenient time and with the knowledge that there was a team of people who cared and could help them, even in a pandemic. The client was still able to offer the same high standard of support for their staff knowing that the processes worked well.

Setting the Scene – Case Study 2.

In early 2020 a terror attack in a hotel left one person dead and staff members critically injured. As this was during the first lockdown for England, GoCrisis was asked to facilitate and support the hotel staff that had witnessed the attack. GoCrisis was able to respond immediately with counselling sessions for those who were involved that included telephone sessions regularly for the staff their families.

Actions Taken

  • A management-led conference meeting using Zoom to talk through an action plan, considering travel restrictions
  • An introduction to the counselling services available for the hotel staff and their families by GoCrisis
  • Regular sessions with staff to counsel them through their ordeal using whatever method of communication the individual felt most comfortable with
  • Extension of the counselling service to their families
  • The counselling and support were via a dedicated phone number to a named person who had a full understanding of the situation
  • Offering advice and guidance on how the hotel group could proceed after the counselling service ended to ensure a seamless and consistent approach for those involved
  • Daily written reports during the four-week response ensured an accurate handover to the client after the response concluded

This response was conducted during a high-profile media response by our highly trained counsellors and whilst being fully cognoscente of the restrictions in place. The response was rapid, well organised and conducted to the high standards all of the team at GoCrisis expects.

GoCrisis would like to thank their dedicated GoResponders and staff who worked tirelessly to support this incident. 

If you are interested in learning more about this incident or how GoCrisis can support your organisation in crises and disaster management, please contact info@gocrisis.com