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About Galveston County CISM 

The Galveston County Critical Incident Stress Management (GCCISM) Team is a 501(c)(3) non-profit volunteer organization that provides critical incident stress management intervention to emergency service agencies requesting assistance following a crisis or emergency situation. The program contains different levels of interventions designed for the specific needs of the responder, the responder’s family, and/or the need of the unit/agency.

The GCCISM Team are associate members of the Galveston County Fire Fighters Association (GCFFA) as well as members of the Texas State Department of Health/Disaster Behavioral Health (Texas Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Network and the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF:

Team members are made up of peers, spouse and family member peers, chaplains, mental health clinicians, and support personnel.  All members serve as volunteers on the team. 

Team Goals

  • To assist first responders involved in a crisis situation with techniques to reduce stress-related symptoms and help healthy first responders remain healthy and functioning after a traumatic event.

  • Provide the critical incident stress management and educational support necessary to ensure optimal functioning of emergency service workers and their primary support systems, thereby promoting job retention capabilities for emergency services personnel and reducing turnover rates.

  • Conduct pre-incident educational programs to acquaint emergency service workers with stress management techniques available through the CISM program as well as to provide initial and continuing education training for CISM team members.

  • The GCCISM Team only provides immediate crisis intervention and is not designed to replace on-going professional counseling.

  • Assist other Organizations in starting and training CISM teams within their specific disciplines (e.g. Teachers, Refinery Workers, Construction, etc.)

CISM History

Critical incident stress management is rooted in crisis intervention theory, group therapy, and community psychology. Theorists like Eric Lindemann, Irvin Yalom, and Gerald Caplan provided the foundation for CISM developers Jeffrey T. Mitchell and George S. Everly, Jr. to begin their work in the 1970s. During the 1980s, Mitchell and Everly officially introduced critical incident stress debriefing as part of their critical incident stress management system of crisis intervention.


The field expanded further with the establishment of the American Critical Incident Stress Foundation in 1989, later named the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation in 1991. In 1997, Mitchell and Everly fully integrated their crisis intervention techniques into the comprehensive system we call CISM. 

Compassion is brought on by

sharing our experiences of

suffering with others can connect us.

This connection has

been shown to be important

for our physical, emotional,

and mental health.

-Gabriella Patti

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