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4/7 EAP CIR Support Group Synopsis

After the second week of offering group support, we saw an increase in attendance and the addition of EAPA posting their first educational/support group. We support this resource and hope all in EAP are able to access the Association's forum. EAP professionals from around the world continue to participate in open, support meetings learning from each other as we navigate through these challenging times. A brief synopsis of this past week follows:

Stage of Incident- EAP request for response continued to vary. What was clearly observed through our different groups was the level of activity across the different time zones. East coast more intense then West coast with outstanding pockets of activity. I encourage group members to join different groups at different times so that you can experience and prepare for different types of requests. Our EAP CIR services must adapt to our customer's response need at this stage of the incident vs. attempting to bring them into our routine processes.

Examples were provided on the staging of educational briefings, creating "care rooms" with access to virtual counselors, preparation for grief groups.

Providing EAP CIR in a Virtual Format- Get familiar with the technology before you use it. While many of us are comfortable with and thrive in a "shooting from the hip" environment, technology has some rigid applications. You are not going to wing technology. It will lead to fumbling through your interventions. I encourage accessing our support group platform (Zoom) with video engaged. Use our forum and others to experiment and get use the virtual world.

The group offered their reviews of various platforms and how to best operationalize them into EAP CIR. Zoom seems to be the most popular, but not without challenges. Virtual resilience groups are becoming more popular.

We are learning that there is much front end work needed. In addition to our usual work in setting the stage for effective EAP CIR, i.e. communication of services, management sitting in on groups, etc., setting expectations for how to create the best virtual experience is needed. What are the rules to preserve privacy and confidentiality, addressing at risk employees when you are not physically present.

Crisis Intervention. Remember, while many of this feels new to many of us, we are still providing crisis intervention. The clinical and practical guidelines of your training still apply. Delivery of them is where we are encouraged to be flexible and creative.

We look forward to continue to hear your progress as we participate in this global incident.


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