Responders of disaster-hit regions face significant psychologicaltrauma owing to the nature of work that they execute. Considering thenature of work they do, it is essential that such individuals aregiven psychological assistance to help them cope with the mentalhealth problems they face in the course of duty. Establishment ofcommunication support centers will allow information dissemination(Condon & Robinson, 2014). The centers will serve the purposeof disseminating information regarding where the responders canaccess mental health resources and psychological assistance to helpthem cope with the challenge of trauma. The communication center willhost professional psychotherapists who will assist the firstresponders learn about the available resources to enable them to dealwith psychological problems they encounter (Alexander & Klein,2009). Through the establishment of the Center, first responderswill have access to knowledge regarding they can get professionalhelp to deal with the trauma they face.
The Emergency Management Information Systems (EMIS) and the EmergencyCommunication Systems (ECS) can be utilized to provide psychologicalassistance to the first responders (Van de Walle & Turoff,2007). ECS is an appropriate channel of communication since itsupports the transmission of information between individuals and alarger grouper. The first responders can be linked with theestablished communication centers and enhance transmission ofinformation between the two groups. Because the disaster is anemergency, it is essential that the communication systems are up tothe prevailing situation. First responders will be able to gainaccess to information crucial to the management of their mentalhealth status as relates to the disaster situation (Calcote, Carson,Peskin, & Emery, 2013). The integration of EMIS and ECS would behelpful in guaranteeing the ability of first responders to getinformation regarding how to overcome the mental health problemsarising from the response to the disaster (Condon & Robinson,2014).
Implementationof a Performance Management System
The implementation of the system will be instrumental in helpingfirst responders successfully deal with the emergency response andthe psychological stress associated with the same. The system shouldbe headed by an official who will oversee the entire operations.Next, it would be essential to communicate the agenda of theemergency response team working alongside the psychotherapistsstationed at the communication center (Guenthner, 2012). Firstresponders will be allowed to check in at the communication centerperiodically so that their mental health status would be determined.The performance management system will serve to provide a progressreport on the status of first responders as regards to the mentalhealth problems likely to be encountered. The communication would betwo-way such that the first responders will provide their opinion onhow they are managing (Bachmann, Jamison, Martin, Delgado, &Kman, 2015). Feedback would be provided to guarantee effectivenessin providing mental health resources and psychological assistance tofirst responders.
As a manager, it is essential that there is openness in the manner inwhich communication is relayed. Notably, complaints brought forwardwill be handled through the established systems to ensurecredibility.
The information management system that is primarily a database willstore all information related to mental health assistance provided tothe first responders. Information stored can be retrieved at anygiven moment by authorized personnel. Upon retrieval, the complaintscan then be addressed appropriately.
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Calcote, J. C., Carson, A. I., Peskin, M. F., & Emery, R. J.(2013). Assessing Postdisaster Psychological Stress in HazardousWaste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) Workers. DisasterMedicine and Public Health Preparedness, 7(5), 452–60.http://doi.org/10.1017/dmp.2013.75
Condon, S. L., & Robinson, J. R. (2014). Communication media usein emergency response management. ISCRAM 2014 ConferenceProceedings – 11th International Conference on Information Systemsfor Crisis Response and Management, (May), 687–696. Retrievedfromhttp://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-84905862614&partnerID=40&md5=792d3610551fab3efe80ab9ab1c85c03
Guenthner, D. H. (2012). Emergency and crisis management: Criticalincident stress management for first responders and businessorganisations. Journal of Business Continuity & EmergencyPlanning, 5(4), 298–315. http://doi.org/M7203K2846511312[pii]
Van de Walle, B., & Turoff, M. (2007). Emergency responseinformation systems: emerging trends and technologies. Communicationsof the ACM, 50(3), 28–31.http://doi.org/10.1145/1226736.1226760