National Workers Compensation and Disability Conference

presented by Risk & Insurance

A Proactive Approach to Supporting Workers Through Traumatic Stress

  • Room: South Pacific F
  • Session Number: CR1
Wednesday, October 20, 2021: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM


Karen Thomas
Director of Case Management Innovation
CorVel Corporation
Sharon L'Heureux Dressel
Risk Manager
City of Beverly Hills


Mental health has taken center stage, as people deal with the stresses of illness, death, civil unrest, isolation and so many unknowns. Depression, anxiety, crippling fear and other mental health issues have skyrocketed among workers, and it’s crucial that these challenges are not ignored. Critical incidence stress debriefing has been around more than a decade, but has re-emerged as a tool to help employees who have witnessed a catastrophic or traumatic event develop the coping mechanisms needed to return to work as quickly as possible. The program was recently expanded to address COVID-19 traumatic stress. This case study will demonstrate how a city in Southern California partnered with its TPA to implement a critical incidence and COVID-19 traumatic stress debriefing program for city employees.


Learning Objectives

• Discover the value of taking a proactive approach to mental health
• Learn the difference between a stress debriefing program and an employee assistance program, and what is required to implement a stress debriefing program
• Find out how a stress debriefing program can mitigate mental health claims and get employees back to work sooner after a traumatic incident