CISM Overview: The What

Peer Support for first responders has been offered as the frontline service to provide a safety net utilizing all six key components of the ICISF CISM Peer Support Model.


Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM), is a term that refers to a comprehensive, integrated, strategic planning system complete with a multitude of crisis intervention tactics. Due to the wide variety of crisis intervention skills and the continuum of support practice available, it limits the possibility of first responders being missed or “falling through the cracks”. An effective CISM response system can provide immediate crisis intervention to individuals, as well as interventions in small groups for those directly affected, or large group interventions for those indirectly affected.

Effective CISM programs require proficiency in assessment, observation and triaging; skills in individual, informational group interventions and small interactive group interventions; as well as the ability to plan the strategic aspects of the response and the flexibility to adapt when a new situation arises.

The safety net provided through this program can increase resistance to the psychological after effects of traumatic experiences as well as equip first responders with skills that support resiliency and reinforce the capacity to return to adaptive function. Education is an important aspect of CISM programs and is incorporated into our outreach programs for public safety personnel as well as their loved ones.

A peer support program utilizing the ICISF model have been shown to be the most effective and most frequently utilized model within public safety in many provinces throughout Canada as well as the United States. When needed, they can be an effective conduit to ongoing support services and referrals for continued care. We strive to develop relationships with other agencies and organizations who are part of the overall support network for those in crisis.