Traumatic events or personal tragedies can be overwhelming for people who are involved in or witness such happenings. Death, violence, accidents, injuries, unexpected illness, assaults, fires, robberies, and natural disasters are all examples of dramatic events that can disrupt our usual coping strategies. Even being witness to an angry, emotional outburst by someone at work can leave people feeling overwhelmed. When this happens, it can be helpful to talk to people about your reactions and learn about normal reactions to these events.

Reactions to critical incidents may include:


  • Eating problems
  • Excessive exercise
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Startled responses


  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Guilt
  • Intrusive thoughts and/or images
  • Irritability
  • Numbness
  • Sadness


  • Confusion
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Memory disturbance

When a traumatic event occurs at work or happens to workers we know, it may be helpful to have a work group meet with someone from FSAO to talk about how this event may affect them. Generally, this  should happen as close to the incident as possible. Call the FSAO at 617-353-5381 to arrange a meeting.

Trauma Resources:

Emotional And Psychological Trauma (HelpGuide)

Trauma and shock (

Trauma in Children and Teens

Community Violence | The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (

Feeling Disconnected from Oneself and Others Following a Trauma


 Racial Trauma 

Racism Recovery Plan Steps

The Four Bodies: A Holistic Tool Kit for Coping with Racial Trauma