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The Mental Health Committee and the Council on Scientific Affairs of the Washington, DC-based American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) created a resource package and response guidelines for health care professionals who may have to deal with the psychological trauma of the events of Sept. 11, 2001. These may prove valuable not only for those with employees in areas that were directly affected, but for any occupational health professional whose employees have been traumatized by these events.
The guidelines are divided into three parts:
Discussions of pertinent topics:
Suggested follow-up to events of Sept. 11.
Several of the topics include template introductory letters to the employees, expressing concern for the victims, their families and all who were affected, and informing employees that resources are available to help them through this difficult time.
Practical, concrete suggestions are offered for dealing with employees as well as advice for the employees themselves. For example, here are the ACOEM’s recommendations for approaching a person in distress. If you believe a co-worker is experiencing stress symptoms:
(To view the complete ACOEM guidelines, go to: www.acoem.org/member/guidelines.htm.)