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NCJ Number: 68305 Find in a Library
Title: AIRLINE DISASTER - A STRESS DEBRIEF PROGRAM FOR POLICE
Journal: POLICE STRESS  Volume:1  Issue:4  Dated:(SPRING 1980)  Pages:16-20
Author(s): M WAGNER
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 5
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE STRESS DEBRIEF PROGRAM HELD FOR THE POLICE OFFICERS INVOLVED IN THE MAY 1979 PLANE CRASH IN CHICAGO HELPED THEM DEAL WITH THE STRESS REACTIONS TO THE DISASTER, AS WELL AS THE POLICE JOB IN GENERAL.
Abstract: THE PROGRAM WAS HELD IN JUNE 1979, IN GROUPS OF SIX TO EIGHT PERSONS. A TOTAL OF 139 POLICE OFFICERS (20 PERCENT OF THOSE INVOLVED IN THE CRASH) PARTICIPATED. THE PROGRAM HAD TWO PURPOSES: TO PERMIT POLICE OFFICERS TO TALK ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE IN ORDER TO ALLEVIATE OR AVOID STRESS SYMPTOMS, AND TO EDUCATE THE PARTICIPANTS ABOUT THE NATURE OF STRESS REACTIONS. THE SMALL GROUPS HELPED THOSE POLICE OFFICERS WHO WERE NOT ACCUSTOMED TO EXPRESSING THEIR FEELINGS, TO DO SO. MOST PARTICIPANTS EXPERIENCED ANGER AS THE MOST FREQUENT EMOTIONAL RESPONSE AND ALSO REPORTED FEELINGS OF ISOLATION, STEMMING FROM INABILITY TO SHARE WITH FRIENDS OR FAMILY, AND MEMORY LOSS. THE SESSIONS, LED BY MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS WHO WERE EXPERIENCED IN GROUP PROCESS, HELPED THE OFFICERS LESSEN THE SYMPTOMS, EDUCATED THEM ABOUT THE NATURE OF STRESS REACTIONS, AND ESTABLISHED A LINK BETWEEN THE POLICE ADMINISTRATION AND THE MENTAL HEALTH COMMUNITY. IT WAS SUGGESTED THAT THE GROUPS BE HELD PERIODICALLY TO AID POLICE OFFICERS IN THE DAILY JOB STRESS. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE GROUPS INCLUDED EMPHASIS ON INFORMALITY, GREATER UNDERSTANDING OF THE GROUPS' PURPOSES, AND POSSIBLE SEPARATION OF SUPERVISORS AND OFFICERS.
Index Term(s): Aircraft; Mental health services; Police occupational stress
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