Answers to frequently asked questions concerning CISM
Since 1994 the Mayday Foundation (Stiftung Mayday) has supported crew members in distress. Day and night specially trained volunteers are available to assist with the work of the Foundation. This group is comprised of professional and private pilots, flight attendants, emergency medical personnel, mental health professionals and psychologists.
The intensive cooperation, the exchange of experiences and information with international CISM-teams has led to a worldwide network of similar skilled people.
Mayday Foundation forms part of a world-wide network with international CISM-teams through intensive cooperation, information exchange and sharing experiences.
Here are the answers to frequently asked questions concerning our CISM work.
What does CISM mean?
CISM is short for Critical Incident Stress Management, a method developed by the American ICISF (International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, Inc.) to support rescue teams after critical incidents.
The United Nations have formally approved their method and implement it when handling critical incidents.
What is the difference between CISM and the Mayday Foundation (Mayday - Modell)?
The Mayday Foundation supports current or former flight license holders and their next-of-kin who are in distress. This support, often short-term, may sometimes last over years and covers a wide range of situations and circumstances, and ist provided by our Mayday-Modell trained staff.
CISM support forms part of the work of the Foundation. It is limited to the immediate support after critical incidents or accidents. CISM support is offered to ALL crew members involved.
What are the main features which define a “Critical Incident”?
Which “critical incidents” require a CISM-team?
What happens when someone contacts you via the contact form or the 24/7 CISM-Hotline of the Mayday Foundation?
What happens if someone calls the CISM-Team on behalf of someone else?
What is the call-back response time? If it takes longer, why is that?
Isn’t a “maximum of 6 hours” too long to wait?
What are the different CISM strategies which are used?
- Operational Debriefing
- Individual Interview (SAFER-R), in person or over the phone
- CMB-Crisis Management Briefing
What is the difference between an “Operational Debriefing” and a "CIS-Debriefing"?
- An “Operational Debriefing” is conducted by the Commander, involves the entire crew and takes place immediately after the incident. The process takes about 15 minutes and is limited to reviewing the facts and perceptions. The intention is to assess whether further CISM-care is necessary.
- A “CIS-Debriefing” generally takes place approximately 72 hours or even later after the incident. The process is facilitated by trained CISM-Team members, who are not part of the crew involved in the incident, and takes between 2 up to 3.5 hours. This process is more comprehensive and addresses facts and perceptions, as well as individual reactions and shows ways to cope and heal.
What CISM-measures can be taken by a crewmember involved in an incident?
Generally none other than providing general information (e.g. during an “Operational Debriefing”). Apart from this a CISM-Team-member shall never act within the context of his/her own crew.
Are there CISM-Teams on stand-by, for example at certain airports?
No, the high cost of such a service makes this impossible.
In the event an incident is reported, all CISM-Team-members are alerted by SMS via an internet based system and are appointed during their free-time.
What crews will be attended to at the airport?
Subject to the availability of a CISM-Team-member, every crew member requesting help will receive such assistance.
Who will be informed about those measures?
How about labor-law consequences ?
When do CISM-teams sign someone off sick?
CISM supports healthy people, who are presenting normal, yet unanticipated responses, to an abnormal incident. As the people concerned show normal reactions of a healthy person, no diagnosis of illness is required. However, it may make sense to take a short break before the next flight to allow the reactions on the stressful situation to dissipate. At the request of the person concerned, the CISM-Team may recommend this to the employer.
There is no legal entitlement for extra days off after a critical incident.
Does a legal right exist to call upon CISM?
What action is taken, if something happens abroad?
Is there a national and/or international CISM-network?
Do CISM-Teams only support airline-crews?
Do you support non-members of the Mayday Foundation as well?
Does Mayday Foundation only support German citizens?
What happens to my personal data?
Personal data are bound by confidentiality and are restricted to the CISM-Team of Stiftung Mayday for the duration of the support. Three months later no one else than the Clinical Director (CD) of the CISM-Team holds access of these individual data. As a professional psychologist the CD is bound to professional discretion. The CD decides when these data are made anonymous by clearing them out into a general statistic without any possible reference to an individual person.
If required, will CISM care over a longer period?
Yes and No.
No because the Foundation’s CISM-Teams is trained and specialized to provide only “First Aid” shortly after the critical incident happened. As a result we are able to reduce the long-term after-effects of severe critical incidents from 4% to 0.8%. The remaining 0.8% will need a long-term therapy and are referred to specialist psychologists.
Yes, because the Foundation makes sure that the person concerned will receive support for as long as necessary.
What if the incident happened some time ago?
How often does the CISM-Team operate?
Presently our CISM-Team is requested to assist crew about five times per week.
How much does a CISM-support cost?
The costs for a CISM-support for airline employees is borne by the participating airlines, which then settle costs among themselves.
All other CISM-support is borne by the Mayday Foundation and free of charge for the person affected.
All CISM-Team members work in an honorary basis. The Foundation refunds expenses such as transportation and telephone costs.
Who finances the CISM-work?
The costs for a CISM-support for airlineemployees of participating airlines are payed by the airline. All other costs involving aviation in general, quality control, the international network, the supervision of the members and the running costs of the Foundation are “in principle” financed by donations. “In principle” because all the work is done by volunteers, spending much of their free time and energy on the “Mayday Foundation Project”. Their dedication is worth significantly more than the Foundation spends on expenses involved with providing support.
Where do the team members come from, how are they selected?
What training is provided to the team-members?
What does the Mayday Foundation training cost?
The training costs are paid by the participating airlines and organizations. The costs depend on venue, number of participants and instructors. The Foundation does not offer training to the “free market” but refers to experienced ICISF-licensed instructors, who train on their own account.
Whom can I refer to, if I have further questions?
Phone: +49(0)70077007701 (during German office hours)
For questions concerning CISM addressed to a CISM-Coordinator please use our contact form or one of our 24/7 hotlines: +49(0)700 7700 7703 or +800 7700 7703