The call came on a Tuesday. An employee of a manufacturing plant had died in a car accident just after midnight. Some of his co-workers first heard about it on the news.
By Wednesday afternoon, Stephanie Schafer, a Village counselor, was at the workplace nearly 350 miles and several states away. She met one-on-one with employees and led a group session about grief, stress management and self-care with dozens of the man’s co-workers.
“It was timely and helpful, especially for a few of them who worked directly with that employee. It was really tough for them,” Schafer says.
This kind of quick response is a hallmark of The Village. When workplaces deal with unfortunate events, such as an employee death or a reduction in workforce, The Village Business Institute is able to provide Critical Incident Stress Management, an intervention protocol developed specifically for dealing with traumatic events.
Most often, the businesses receiving CISM are clients of The Village Employee Assistance Program. Sometimes organizations are referred to The Village by EAP clients who have utilized the service.
In many cases, The Village is able to be on site the same day.
“Because we have so many providers who are trained, we can meet these needs,” Schafer says. “We can mitigate some long-term issues by presenting information on how we cope with stress and some strategies that are effective right now and in the future.”
Schafer says companies she and other counselors have worked with will call again when there is another type of crisis. This shows how valuable they found the critical incident services to be.
“We get them the information and answer their questions,” Schafer says. “We are always willing to make it work when it’s appropriate.”
Even if it means driving 350 miles at a moment’s notice.
For more information about The Village's worksite-based services, call 1-800-627-8220 or email VBI@thevillagefamily.org.