How can you support a colleague?

The following section provides a suggested procedure to follow when you or your colleague are experiencing a crisis:

  • Immediately contact your closest colleague and the appropriate contact person 
    – You must not leave the victim(s) on their own.
  • Relocate the victim(s) to a calm and quiet place.
  • Be compassionate and listen.
  • Accept the various emotional reactions.
  • In emergencies, never leave it to the victim(s) to assess what actions should be taken.
  • The responsible contact person contacts Dansk Krisekorps to request psychological assistance, and may also contact police or medical services, when relevant.
  • Everyone involved in the event remains on-site until there is reached an agreement with the psychologist, on what is to be the following course of action.
  • The victim(s) must not be alone for the first 24 hours if a course of action has not been initiated or decided upon.
  • The day after the incident, the victim(s), the contact person responsible and the manager concerned – ideally in consultation with the psychologist – draw up a light work schedule for the following week. After the first week, those involved should evaluate this schedule.
  • Ensure that someone is appointed the responsibility of informing all employees in the organization or department of the event, and ensure them that what happened, and the people involved, are being taken care of.

In the time following the event:

  • The victim(s) is/are seeing a psychologist if necessary.
  • The responsible contact person or the manager is in daily contact with the victim and affected colleagues, to follow up on how they are doing - until the circumstances have “normalised”.
  • The incident is addressed at a managerial level, to clarify which conditions can and must be changed to prevent future events. An evaluation of the current safety protocol, as well as the management of the concrete events, is also conducted.
  • Appoint someone to inform affected colleagues and other employees, on how things are going, and if changes are to be made as a result of the incident. 
  • 1-3 months following the accident, once the victim(s) has/have recovered, the responsible contact person or manager investigates the affected department - is everything functioning as it should?

Suggestions for concrete actions:

Create a “warm” and compassionate atmosphere:

  • Calm and quiet surroundings
  • Adopt a kind and friendly manner 
  • Provide your undivided attention
  • Show interest 
  • Listen, and do not interrupt  
  • Maintain eye contact
  • Ensure your body language reflects your engagement
  • Be honest and direct
  • Do not conceal your own reactions
  • If necessary, provide a hug or embrace