VIII. Traumatic Incident Stress Prevention
Workers and volunteers may experience stress and fatigue when they respond to environmental disasters, both natural and human-caused. Deepwater Horizon response workers and volunteers are at risk of feeling uncomfortable levels of stress from what mental health professionals refer to as a traumatic incident. The term traumatic is used because of an unexpected and troubling change in the natural order of things, such as the untimely death or injury of oil-covered wildlife and the impact on fishing communities and the environment. It is important that responders monitor their health and well-being during their response activity period, and even months after their response work has ended.
Specific recommendations to help manage responder stress and fatigue during and after a response (in addition to tips for parents, teachers, and response workers) can be found on the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) website at http://samhsa.gov/Disaster/ and the NIOSH website at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/oilspillresponse/traumatic.html.