After a traumatic incident the family needs rapid support to help manage and structure the first few days. They need to incorporate the incident into a coherent story. Pieces of information are often perceived in fragments that need to be connected to create an overall picture. Going through what actually happened and creating a common understanding of the incident helps the entire family to process the event.
- What actually happened? Before meeting the family, gather facts from emergency responders, hospital etc.
- Does the family need help to give out information?
- Support those affected in tolerating their shock reactions
- Include the children in what has happened
- Assess whether and how the family’s network can provide support
- Help those affected to structure and manage immediate tasks related to the incident: Provide information to schools, day care, workplace etc. Help with arranging a memorial gathering, viewing or wake. Help manage media, Facebook etc.
- Help the family to cope with the practical challenges of everyday life.