Sep 29, 2023 | Featured Articles

Family members, colleagues and close friends of first responders are being guided on how best to provide support in the aftermath of difficult and stressful events on the frontline, under a new project developed by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland that offers training in the elements of ‘Hearing, Understanding, Guiding and Supporting’ (HUGS) at home. 

Going home after a difficult shift may sometimes be the hardest task for first responders such as firefighters, paramedics and other frontline emergency response workers, due to stressful events and extreme situations they may face as part of their daily activities. 

They may often rely on formal and informal supports to help them cope with these stresses, and while early Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) intervention reduces the symptoms of post-traumatic stress, access to support services remains limited due to lack of resources or the stigma associated with seeking help. 

One solution available to first responders, their families and friends is a project developed by Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland (RCSI) SIM Centre for Simulation Education and Research. 

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