Individuals working in the law enforcement, public safety, and emergency response field are often exposed to sensitive if not completely gruesome events on the job. Line of duty shootings, high-speed pursuits, even the details of a violent incident being recounted can result in some sort of trauma. While some have traumatic reactions that last for a few days or weeks, some end up with compounded or long-term trauma. The people that call on for help need help too, and this course unpacks one of the initiatives being done to help them cope with the aftermath of a critical incident.
Debuting on the Justice Clearinghouse are Rev. Dr. Eric Skidmore and Dr. Joseph Cheng. Rev. Dr. Skidmore leads the South Carolina Law Enforcement Assistance Program (SCLEAP). He serves as the Program Manager for SCLEAP assisting state and local police officers, staff, and their family members. Meanwhile, Dr. Cheng is a Staff Psychiatrist in the TeleMental Health Hub of the Ralph H. Johnson Medical Center in Charleston, South Carolina. He performs research and assessments for the SCLEAP’s Post Critical Incident Seminar (PCIS) program.
Specifics they tackled on this session are:
- The beginnings, expansion, and the funding source of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Assistance Program (SCLEAP).
- The Post Critical Incident Seminar (PCIS)
- The activities and services expected out of the seminar.
- The cost of the program and the funding sources that sustain its efforts.
- The sectors it serves and the type of cases they aim to address.
- The various states using this model.
- The central concept to which the success of the SCLEAP is attributed to.
- A video clip that explains critical incidents, how it impacts individuals, and the PCIS.
- A glimpse into the agenda and activities of the three-day Post Critical Incident Seminar.
- How having a specific mission, commitment, and support from stakeholders, and collaboration between agencies and other states that use the PCIS model makes it a success.
- Evaluating the outcomes of the PCIS.
- The methodology of the analysis conducted through a series of surveys in specific periods during and after the PCIS.
- The sample population and the psychometric elements tracked.
- The most common features or qualities that the respondents self-reported in the survey that correlate with symptom severity.
- The improvements observed after taking the PCIS as the changes in the anxiety, depression, and PTSD scale are quantified.
- Other changes and improvements perceived in the participants after attending the PCIS.
- The current and future direction that the SCLEAP and the PCIS are taking to improve data collection and management, data sharing across all participating states, and the program’s efficacy.
Audience questions were about:
- The factors that resulted in the improvement of the participants’ outcomes.
- How to access the program for other states and countries.
- Applying the program to other sectors exposed to critical incidents.
- The number of participants per seminar.
- Who shoulders the costs for the participant to be a part of the PCIS.
This is the first of a two-part series:
- Aug 27: Post Critical Incident Seminar: What You Can Do When Things Aren’t Getting Better (this webinar)
- Sept 22: Post Critical Incident Seminar: A Tested Solution for Helping Cops Recover from the Worst Incidents
Resources and Handouts
- South Carolina Law Enforcement Assitance Program PCIS Overview
- SCLEAP Poster Wheel
- PCIS Participant Comments
- PCIS Fact Sheet
- Sample Schedule
- SCLEAP Website
- Video about the PCIS Program
- Book reference: Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
- “I appreciated the data presentation showing the objective measure of symptom reduction as a result of the PCIS. GREAT information!” — Tim
- It was presented in a way that made it clear and worthwhile to have been part of the session.” — David
- “I was very impressed with the clinical research completed to prove the effectiveness of this approach. Many programs only use anecdotal information to prove their value.” — Duane
- “I was most impressed by the followup research and the tracking of symptoms over time after the seminar.” — Frank