Trauma is the reaction that occurs when the demands of stressful events exceed our available coping resources and result in severe distress.
Critical Incident Stress is a term used to refer to trauma reactions that occur as a result of a traumatic event during which harm or death seriously threatens an individual.
The definitions above are from the Headington Institute material Three Types of Stress Associated with Humanitarian Work
Those staff who have experienced a natural disaster or violent incident first hand may benefit from professional psychological support. We should consider facilitating that support.
When you are attempting to assist staff who have experienced trauma, contact the Benefits Manager at HQ. She has access to external expert consultants who have dealt with this situation before. They will assist you in determining what your options are and choosing between them.
For information on stress that results from the everyday issues we deal with during an emergency response, click here.