Social Support Systems is arguably the UK’s most experienced organisation in the field of post-incident psychological support.
Our experience of providing effective psychological recovery operations across a broad spectrum of high-profile and international operational incidents means that when disaster strikes, we can be relied upon to provide the best service possible for our partners
Because our team consists only of serving and former emergency service and military personnel, our operational and cultural knowledge assures our partners that the robust and effective solutions we provide are centric to their core service delivery and business continuity needs.
Unlike purely academic consultancies, we actually know and understand what it feels like to be involved in a critical incident from an operational perspective.
Our unique and entirely person-centred solutions, represent the cutting edge in the resolution of posttraumatic stress in first responders.
An evolutionary step in Critical incident support
The Critical Incident Stress Intervention and Support (CrISIS) Protocol, is a multifaceted, non-linear, and responsive approach to supporting organisations and their people following a critical incident.
Tried and tested during the psychological recovery operations SSS conducted following the London attacks of 2017, and the Grenfell Tower disaster, CrISIS represents an evolutionary development in resolving posttraumatic stress.
Unlike older, less effective ‘trauma risk management’ systems, CrISIS is not merely a system of referral, but rather, provides comprehensive, evidence-based and highly effective system of 1:1 and group interventions for those affected by a traumatic reaction – thus negating the need to refer onwards into medical pathways and facilitating a quicker and sustainable return to normal function.
What is a critical incident?
Basically, a critical incident is an incident that has the potential to overwhelm the natural coping mechanisms of those involved.
There is no hard and fast definition, as traumatic reactions are highly subjective to the individual, but we can consider some operational incident types more likely to be linked with the development of a traumatic reaction and the future onset of PTSD:
- Multiply fatality
- Death of a colleague
- Death of a child
- Personal trauma
- Violent crime
- Life changing or limiting physical injury
- Experiencing a series of critical incidents over a short period of time creating an accumulative effect
- Incidents where there may be a personal meaning
- Incidents which are disturbing or shocking e.g. murder scenes or suicide
- Incidents involving operational difficulties eg. Flashover, near misses,contamination, firearms discharge
- Incidents which have media attention or a public response
- Difficult calls e.g. fire survival call
- Failed resuscitation attempts
- Terror attack
It is also possible to define an incident as ‘critical’ if one or more responders are found to have suffered a peritraumatic reaction, using the RAIDS peritraumatic risk assessment process.
Linking evidence-based solutions with real word experience
Social Suport Systems CIC Director, Dr John Durkin, was responsible for acquiring ‘evidence-based’ status with SAMHSA for Everly and Mitchell’s system of Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM), and along with fellow director’s Paul Meakin & Sean McCallum has been at the forefront of the development of the CrISIS Protocol. Partially evolved from the CISM system, Durkin, Meakin & McCallum have applied Gerbodian principles of applied metapsychology to the original CISM system, and an entirely pure person-centred system of facilitation.
This non-linear and responsive approach has proved highly effective in real word application following some of Europes highest profile critical incidents, and Social Support Systems has supported many first responders throughout periods of crisis, providing truly longitudinal recovery from trauma.
Need a fast response to help your people and your organisation?
SSS can provide a CrISIS response within 24 hours if required and has international reach.
The CrISIS Protocol can be initiated immediately and our team will liaise directly with your management team to provide guidance throughout the critical incident and its aftermath.
For more details on the CrISIS Protocol and how it can help mitigate psychological trauma, please contact us here
If you’re struggling to cope…
- We won’t judge you
- We won’t label you
- We won’t impose our own ideas on you
But, we will…
- Support you
- Always be interested in you
- Take responsibility for your recovery
Call 01623 700320 to arrange an appointment.
We have a proud and history of supporting emergency services and their people in the aftermath of critical incidents.
Our experience of counter-terror psychological recovery and major critical Incident Stress Management operations is unrivalled, & we can demonstrate a remarkable level of effectiveness compared with normative counsellors or therapists.
Our facilitators are all serving or former emergency service and military personnel.
- They don’t judge
- They don’t label
- They don’t diagnose
- They don’t interpret
- They don’t teach people to ‘cope’.
They just get results.
They speak the same language as your teams, because they’ve been there.
To find out how we can help your people and organisation to secure and retain good mental health in the most difficult of conditions, visit our website:
For emergency mobilisation of our Critical Incident Support team please contact us here
Difficult to believe? Take a look at some of our feedback!
If you’re suffering, get in touch.
- We don’t judge.
- We don’t interpret.
- We don’t analyse.
- We don’t teach you to cope.
- We don’t patronise.
We do, however, know that you are the expert of your own experience, and that the answer to your trauma, lies within you.
Call 01623 700320 to begin your recovery journey.
‘I had been struggling with a traumatic event that affected my life on a daily basis. One session with my facilitator has made an unbelievable difference; I no longer have flashbacks, I can talk openly about what happened, I feel calmer and have less anxiety.
I was nervous before the session but the process was explained to me fully before we began and i was made to feel completely at ease. We went at my pace and i felt in control the whole time. I can’t recommend Social Support Systems enough.’
‘I had the best night’s sleep in a long time. First time I’ve not woken up until after 8am for a long time!!!I Feel much better.
No visions anymore at any time. I can now run through the incident with no issues…it seems you’ve fixed me!!’
‘Something very deep has changed.
It’s almost imperceptible to my conscious mind.
It took a few days to filter through but it’s a sort of vague ‘good’ feeling somewhere inside. Comes and goes. A miracle considering how I was triggered into trauma almost constantly before.
I’m grateful we’re meeting again. I think this may turn things around for me.’
Everybody experiences grief, or loss, in their own way. It is an entirely subjective experience, and dependent on many factors.
It represents a broad range of reactions and seems to be an essential part of the continuity of our lives.
There are a number of theories which attempt to describe the process of coming to terms with someone’s death, such as the familiar ‘Kubler-Ross’ model which describes a response involving Progressive stages in coming to terms with someone dying:
Whilst some recover relatively quickly, others take a while – and for some, it seems that the emotional pain and distress caused by the death of a loved one or close family member will never go away.
Regardless of theoretical models, what is for sure, is that grief is an unpleasant experience and may affect you over a lengthy period of time. Though of course, it must be remembered that death is a natural part of our lives, and thus the general outcome of the grieving process is to continue to live with fulfilment once we have adjusted to life without the presence of the person we have lost.
For some though, emotional attachment, the nature of the death or dying process can augment the sense of loss, or loss of control, creating a sense of shock, helplessness, emotional numbness, anger, frustration, and a whole host of other feelings and emotions which negatively impact on one’s life and well-being – according to the UK National Health Service, there are a number of key factors that indicate you should seek help:
- You don’t feel able to cope with overwhelming emotions or daily life
- The intense emotions aren’t subsiding
- You’re not sleeping normally
- You have symptoms of depression or anxiety
- Your relationships are suffering
- You’re having sexual problems
- You’re becoming accident-prone.
Whilst such lists can be helpful to doctors in assessment processes, they are not exhaustive of the whole human experience and will not adequately explain the differences between the grief experiences of different people.
It’s safe to say, from a person-centred point of view, that you will know when you are becoming overwhelmed, because you are the expert in your own experience.
If you do feel that you are struggling to cope, and your psychological well-being is being adversely affected to the point you are in distress or crisis, and if you feel you need help, you can contact us to tell us about it and get support.
You can have confidence that our TIR facilitators can effectively support you – we aren’t like normal counsellors, therapists or psychiatrists. You can learn more about how our unique person-centred approach to mental health is different by clicking here
Please Contact us to arrange a consultation and discuss your needs.
Social Support Systems has the knowledge and experience to help your people recover quickly following a critical Incident.
Our pedigree is second to none, and has developed from real-world experience of handling some of the most critical and high-profile incidents the UK has experienced in recent years.
If your organisation works in high-threat environments, the psychological well-being of your staff is paramount in order to ensure them functioning effectively throughout spate conditions or operations that threaten business continuity.
To read more about our how our Critical Incident Support knowledge and experience can help your organisation please visit us here
Alternatively, please call (+44) 01623 700320 and we’ll call you back to discuss your needs
I’m very excited, because this week, Social Support Systems became a member of the National Suicide Prevention Alliance (NSPA).
It seems that almost every week, there is news in the media of another soldier, paramedic, police officer or fire-fighter who has taken their own life – it is incredibly sad, and I believe that Social Support Systems (SSS) can have a great impact upon reducing the amount of suicides in the UK.