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3 Jun 2018

NBlog June 3 - psychological support

A few hours after we completed and delivered the Incidents and disasters awareness and training module, Rob Slade posted an interesting little note on CISSPforum* about Psychological First Aid and/or Disaster Psycho-social Support, terms that I hand't come across before.

The World Health Organization's 64-page Psychological first aid: guide for field workers offers pragmatic advice to people such as aid workers, teachers and I guess emergency services professionals on how to help others suffering extreme emotional distress in the aftermath of a serious incident or disaster.

Fair point: "Different kinds of distressing events happen in the world, such as war, natural disasters, accidents, fires and interpersonal violence (for example, sexual violence). Individuals, families or entire communities may be affected. People may lose their homes or loved ones, be separated from family and community, or may witness violence, destruction or death."

PFA is described as "a humane, supportive response to a fellow human being who is suffering and who may need support" through:
  • "providing practical care and support, which does not intrude;
  • assessing needs and concerns;
  • helping people to address basic needs (for example, food and water, information);
  • listening to people, but not pressuring them to talk;
  • comforting people and helping them to feel calm;
  • helping people connect to information, services and social supports;
  • protecting people from further harm."
OK, so a major fraud, ransomware infection or hack may not be in quite the same league but the stress and trauma caused by serious cyber-incidents are, I believe, vaguely similar hence the WHO advice has value.

Protecting people from further harm is an intriguing idea: aside from limiting the corporate impacts, shouldn't we also do our best to limit the personal, traumatic impacts of serious cyber-incidents? Perhaps rest people who have been in the front line? 

Rob also posted a link to a Swedish government public-information leaflet about readiness for "crisis or war". Their advice on emergency supplies for the home caught my eye: staying warm is definitely a concern in the Scandinavian Winter:

I'll have more to say about that soon. Included in June's NoticeBored module was a staff awareness briefing about preparing a "Personal Plan B". As soon as we get the chance, we'll share it here. Watch this space.

* PS  (ISC)2 intends summarily to terminate CISSPforum inside a couple of weeks, without good cause and without even having the sense to consult the thousands of members of the community about this decision. Needless to say, some of those thousands are livid about yet another snub by (ISC)2, an organization supposedly established to further the interests of its professional members. If YOU are a CISSP or an information risk and security professional who cares about the profession, the community and (ISC)2's outrageous sleight, please apply to join the new improved CISSPforum on Groups.io

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