It is inevitable that traumatic incidents will occur in policing and it is important to recognise that these may not be viewed, felt or experienced in the same way by everyone. Indeed, individual officers and staff may be surprised by their own responses to such events.

However, organisationally it is essential to have a plan to deal with a range of trauma related situations and responses if policing is to carry out its role in protecting society.

Working in collaboration with Public Health England (PHE), we have conducted a review of existing early intervention approaches, and together with expert practitioners, designed a model that reflects the needs of the emergency services. 

The Trauma and Post Incident Risk Management live service is built around ESTIP and consists of the following components:

  • Phase 1 – Peer Support
  • Phase 2 – Demobilising and Defusing
  • Phase 3 – Emergency Services Trauma Intervention Meeting (ESTIM)
  • Phase 4 – Monitor and Refer

Forces who wish to use ESTIP would be expected to have established peer support networks and are also required to identify an ESTIP lead who will have responsibility for overseeing the clinical and organisational governance of the programme within their force.

What we offer

Phase 1 – Peer Support

The Peer Support model has been developed in 2019/ 2020 and is based on comprehensive international research from Canada, Australia and America. 14 Home Office forces from England and Wales have worked with the National Police Wellbeing Service on its design. It is the foundation on which ESTIP is based. 

Find out more about our Peer Support model and training here.

Phase 2 – Demobilising and Defusing

This training is aimed at Peer Supporters and / or line managers

Demobilisation is a primary stress prevention conversation that takes place following a traumatic exposure.  It involves a short conversation which lasts around 5-10 minutes.  Although normally carried out by a Supervisor following a major incident, the role may fall to a suitably trained peer supporter. 

Defusing is generally provided soon after exposure to a traumatic incident.  It helps to assess who may need further help and support.  Defusing is a small group process but is less structured and is normally aimed at the core group who have been most affected by the incident. Typically, groups of six to eight can be brought together with a defuser, usually a Line Manager or Peer Supporter to hold a defusing session. Individual one to one session’s can be carried out if required. 

Phase 3 – ESTIM (Emergency Services Trauma Intervention Meeting)

This training is aimed at peer supporters, mental health professionals and occupational health services staff. 

Not all traumatic incidents will require an ESTIM intervention. The necessity of an intervention will depend on the nature of the incident and the impact on those involved, and in many cases a demobilising and defusing will be sufficient. Before providing an ESTIM intervention, an impact assessment should be conducted to determine whether it is required.  An ESTIM intervention can be provided from 3 – 14 days after an incident.

An ESTIM intervention can be delivered in either a group or individual format, and led by trained ESTIM facilitators.  Group interventions are the recommended default format, as they can provide an opportunity to draw on the shared experiences and facilitate social support. Group and individual interventions follow the same structure and basic process, but with some adaptations in implementation.

The ESTIM intervention focuses on facts, thoughts, reactions and general wellbeing before providing basic psycho-education and closes with coping strategies and future focus.

Phase 4 – Monitor and Refer

Individuals who attend an ESTIM intervention will also receive follow-ups two – four weeks later to check recovery progress. If an individual is still showing signs of trauma they should be referred to Occupational Health or the NHS for further intervention. This could be in the form of a Psychological Risk Assessment.

Psychological Risk Assessments

This training is for Occupational Health Professionals is the next step for individuals who are showing signs of trauma after the ESTIM intervention and after a follow-up.  They can be invited to undertake a Psychological Screen to establish what further intervention may be required to support them. Find out more on our Psychological Risk Management page.

Availability and Booking

All elements of our ESTIP training are available as stand-alone packages, but we recommended that individuals complete the training in the following order: Peer Support, Demobilising and Defusing and ESTIM. Should you feel that your organisation already has some of the appropriate measures in place please contact us direct for advice. 

All training requests should come through force Wellbeing Leads who should contact the National Police Wellbeing Service with their requirements