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9 ther classification is made between on airport and off airport Employees Assistance Programs incidents, as this will typically dictate responding personnel. After these classifications, the specific responding groups are An EAP is an initiative undertaken by a company or or- identified, which culminate in reporting requirements to the ganization which seeks to provide mental health assistance NTSB under 14 CFR 830. Any of these groups, whether they to employees who may be experiencing stress or trauma. are first-responding professionals, or other employees could be Employees may utilize the services of an EAP, free of charge, exposed to trauma depending on a variety of circumstances. for personal psychological traumas and other reasons such as substance abuse problems. One of the hallmarks of most EAPs involves some sort of anonymity or de-identification of Mental Health Options participating employees, wherein employers are kept unaware There are several different types of mental health care options of which of their employees are participating. In spite of the for an individual to receive. An obvious avenue would be cost to employers, most research indicates overall employee the Employees Assistance Program (EAP) which is generally productivity is maintained or even enhanced, and thus justi- accessed through the human resources department of an orga- fied (Kirk & Brown, 2003). nization; another area to find care would be through the com- Some EAPs offer a Critical Incident Response Management munity, through private mental health care organizations, (CIRM) program, which can be utilized by individual employ- and through one's own personal health care provider. Many ees after a disaster or crisis occurs (Freeman, 2007). CIRM people also find that their spiritual affiliation is of guidance could be utilized specifically to respond to an organizational- during times of difficulty. wide disaster. Paul (2006) found that EAPs can be effective In the following paragraphs, Palm et al. (2004) suggest ways when dealing with large scale traumatic events so long as the in which to limit vicarious trauma reactions. They detail rec- focus is split between the organization and the individual ommendations for interventions at the individual and orga- worker. Badenhorst (1992) further found that for maximum nizational levels. efficacy, an EAP response following a disaster should be tailored The following is a list of actions which may limit vicarious to specific circumstances, which include simplicity, proximity, trauma reaction at the individual level: spending time with immediacy and expectancy. other people outside of the work environment/staying con- Central to EAPs is the fact that most mental health or coun- nected and not isolating oneself; asking for support; engag- seling services are provided by trained and licensed mental ing in activities that provide a sense of purpose; attending to health professionals. Other mental health recovery programs physical health; maintaining balance between professional, often involve some sort of peer-based counseling, but that is physical and emotional aspects of life; attaining social sup- the exception rather than the norm in EAPs. One such EAP port; accepting that emotional distress in trauma survivors that includes peer-based meetings is the FBI EAP (McNally, is a "normal" reaction to traumatic events; limiting unnec- 1999). While still utilizing professional personnel in its tradi- essary exposure to the traumatic event by decreasing expo- tional EAP processes, their program also makes use of peer sure through the media/newspaper; maintaining balance in support. To date, the efficacy of such a "mixed-method" EAP the work situation; taking vacations; identifying personal regarding traumatic events has not been extensively evaluated limits; and talking to coworkers. Poor communication with coworkers has been shown to increase risk of adverse vicar- but warrants further attention. ious post-traumatic stress reactions. Timmons (2004) explains that traditional EAPs do not go The following is a list of actions which may limit vicarious far enough to support key personnel and their families in times trauma reaction at the organizational level: providing appro- of a severe or regional crisis. Furthermore, existing programs priate training for dealing with trauma and disaster; provid- may not have the depth of resources needed for response. ing information about traumatic stress reactions; effective Some key areas of concentration for an enhanced EAP would coping and possible interventions and encouraging use of nat- be to have "an executive level champion, an organizational- ural social support systems; normalizing traumatic stress reac- wide awareness of program, and all personnel should partic- tions, being encouraged to advocate for survivors or change ipate in the initial training program" (p. 74). The article is policies to help survivors; ensuring manageable workloads; careful to point out that there is no silver bullet for organiza- creating a respectful, supportive work environment; having tional survival during crisis events and that programs should access to support resources without fear of negative conse- be tested where appropriate. The human resources depart- quences; and encouraging vacations. Lack of social support in ment of any organization should remain as the focal point of the work situation, poor communication, and poor support contact for supporting personnel and their families through from supervisors has been associated with increased risk for the crisis, as well as providing ongoing support to the recovery secondary trauma, burnout, and fatigue. process.