Our organization is dedicated to educating and training the next generation of peer support specialists. While this field is more respected than ever, with peer support specialists being welcomed into mental health programs at major corporations and universities alike, it’s always important to remember where we came from.

In this post, we’ll take a look at the history of Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) and the integral role that peer support specialists play in this vital service.

Rooted In Crisis Intervention Therapy

Not surprisingly, Critical Incident Stress Management grew out of crisis intervention theory, group therapy, and community psychology research pioneers by the likes of  Eric Lindemann, Irvin Yalom, and Gerald Caplan. Their work blazed a trail for the fathers of CISM,  Jeffrey T. Mitchell and George S. Everly, Jr., who began their work in the 1970s.

The American Critical Incident Stress Foundation

A decade later, the field was robust enough to support the creation of its own research institute, The American Critical Incident Stress Foundation, which opened its doors in 1989. The growth continued, and in 1991, this organization was renamed the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation.

Peer Support Specialists Provide CISM

Today, CISM is provided by peer support specialists across many fields, from first responders to military personnel.

We have had the pleasure of providing critical incident stress management training for many of these peer support specialists, who then take what they’ve learned back to their communities. As a result, those exposed to critical incident stress are more supported than ever, and in many cases are able to move past their experiences instead of being dragged down by them.

Contact us for more information about peer support specialist training today!