Team Development

The Crisis Response (CISM) Team:  
General Guidelines for Team Development 

STEP 1:  Identify the need for the crisis response (CISM) team.  Based upon identified needs, a rationale for the team’s existence should both pragmatically and rhetorically emerge.

STEP 2:  Clearly state the goals of the crisis response team.  Clearly state the constituency to be served by the team.

STEP 3:  Delineate guidelines for team membership and the specific roles to be performed. 

·       Administrative structure

·       Dispatching functions

·        Response functions, listing mental health providers’ roles vis-à-vis the use of paraprofessionals (if applicable)

·        Clinical mental health oversight / supervision

·        Team member selection criteria

STEP 4:  Determine how the team will be legally constituted.

STEP 5:  Determine how the team will be funded.

STEP 6:  Obtain legal counsel to operationally define issues such as malpractice, standards of care, confidentiality, “good Samaritan” practices, necessary liability insurance coverage, etc.

STEP 7:  Determine what criteria and mechanisms will be used to activate the team. Determine what backup systems will be used in the case of a mass disaster or widespread communication failure.

STEP 8:  Determine what specific crisis intervention techniques will be used by the team (For example: defusing, CISD, individual crisis counseling, etc.)

STEP 9:  Determine what criteria and mechanisms will be used to deactivate the team.

STEP 10:  Stipulate guidelines and procedures for follow-up for team members after a crisis response.

STEP 11:  Make arrangements for ongoing “in-service” training.

STEP 12:  Create a clear, practical operating manual which contains policies and procedures and which addresses all of the aforementioned issues.

*Excerpt from "Critical Incident Stress Management", Second Edition, Everly & Mitchell.

Team Information Form This is a Word form and may be filled out online, save and email the modified file back to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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