When I ask affiliate providers, who are attending my EAP CIR workshops, how many EAP panels they are on, I hear responses like, “Oh, I don’t know…40?”
Lesson #5- As soon as you (EAP) know an act of terrorism has occurred, start contacting your providers. There will be a race to secure them. It will simply become supply and demand.
When providers were asked, how will you determine who you will work with? Some say, whoever calls me first; some say, whoever offers the highest rate; and others say, who they like working for. In other words, where there is a partnership. The latter being the most common.
Affiliate providers will be in hot demand for response local or near local to an act of terrorism. EAP and response vendors will be competing for a limited resource. Ask yourself (EAP), “Why should they pick our EAP? What kind of relationship have we developed with them?”
Some tips for EAPs and providers regarding response to acts of terrorism
Become better partners. Communicate regularly with providers. Give them feedback on their services. Letting them know you value them goes a long way.
Make sure providers are ready and able. If they are local to the incident, they will be impacted as well.
Consider a higher, initial compensation rate. The activity will be intense early on. Providers will be working hard, above and beyond. Compensate them for it.
Ensure you have safe, accessible locations for providers to go to.
Make sure they are adequately trained. Their training and your partnership are two strengths that will foster resilience.
Maintain continuity in the short term, rotate providers over the long term.
Volunteers for services may become plentiful and used to supplement your core response team. Have a vetting process. Consider what role you want them in and when they should be transitioned to a paid consultant.
Have a plan. Think through what you will do when you receive multiple calls from EAPs and crisis vendors. Consider who you would like to hear from and let them know.
If you maintain a private practice, have a plan for your ongoing caseload. If you are local to the incident, they may want to meet with you too.
Determine your availability. Response can require extended hours and multiple days. Be careful of overextending yourself.
Do your own mental health check. The reach of terrorism impacts us all. Include your significant others for your own support and resilience. You will have a stress response too. Functional denial can run high and a caring, significant other can let you know when it’s time to attend to your own reactions.
You can say no. Assess your personal priorities before you willingly commit your services to an EAP or crisis vendor. The trajectory of resilience is challenged when there is a pre-incident vulnerability impacting you.
Like EAPs and crisis vendors, providers also know who they like and prefer to work for/with. That also gets shared at workshops and we all have work to do.
All of these items are pre-incident considerations. Attend to them now to reduce the scramble that will come later.