Presentation Details: The purpose of this presentation is to share the findings of a recent study that examined how Psychological Body Armor (PBA) among CISM responders has been a resiliency factor against social disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In January 2020, infections from the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) evolved and progressed throughout the year to became a global pandemic resulting in nearly 103,000,000 cases and over 2,200,000 deaths worldwide, and about 26,000,000 cases and above 430,000 deaths in the United States. Gruber and colleagues (2020) argue that COVID-19 will have a significant psychological impact on the affected population across the life span, including increases of psychological distress, traumatic stress symptoms, substance use disorders, suicide, and symptom exacerbation of severe mental disorders. Unfortunately, one of the threats to the well-being of individuals, children and families due the COVID-19 pandemic is related to the problems associated to social disruption such as financial security, and imposed social distancing and confinement mandates (Prime, Wade & Browne, 2020).
One group of professions that may be affected from the COVID-19 outbreak are trained CISM and other disaster mental health responders due to the nature of providing direct crisis intervention and other mental health services to those impacted from traumatic events. Preliminary research has shown that CISM responders who possess strong PBA are more resilient and are better able to face and rebound from adverse experiences (Burnett, Bailey & Pichot, 2020). However, no studies have examined how resiliency among CISM professionals is related to the social disruption effects of a global pandemic.
Our study collected data from 343 participants trained in CISM and other disaster mental health services approximately 10 months into the COVID-19 pandemic. The measures utilized in this study were from Burnett, Bailey and Pichot (2020), as well as a 5-item social disruption questionnaire due to the coronavirus outbreak developed by the researchers.
Results indicated that 78.4% of participants were considered essential workers based on their job position. Furthermore, 72% of participants did not lose their job nor took a pay cut. In addition, the mean for social disruption due to COVID-19 was 2.62 (SD = 1.47), indicating that the social disruption affect among CISM responders was low based on an 8-point Likert scale, ranging from 0 (no affect) to 7 (severely affected).
Pearson correlational analysis revealed through the PBA proactive resilience pathway that social disruption due to COVID-19 was negatively related to purpose in life, self-acceptance, subjective happiness and mindfulness. For the reactive resilience pathway, social disruption due to COVID-19 was positively associated with perceived stress, psychological distress and sleep quality, but negatively related to physical activity, access to formal crisis intervention support services, and self-efficacy. Pearson correlational analysis further revealed that social disruption due to COVID-19 was positively related to overall resilience and being able to recognize compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress and burnout in one’s self. Multiple regression analysis revealed that none of the mechanisms for the proactive pathway were significant predictors of social disruption due to the coronavirus outbreak. For the reactive pathway, positive relationships with others, perceived stress, psychological distress, sleep quality and access to formal crisis intervention support services were significant predictors of social disruption due to COVID-19.
Therefore, this presentation will review these findings, the importance of PBA and what this means for CISM professionals working during a global pandemic.
Upon completion, participants will be able to
Explain how the COVID-19 pandemic may affect CISM-repsonders and other disaster mental health professionals level of well-being.
Identify which components of PBA were significantly related to PBA resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Construct and implement self-care strategies that will help participants build their PBA health during the COVID-19 pandemic.