When traveling abroad or living in a foreign country, people can be exposed to a variety of unexpected and sometimes serious situations. Personal issues from culture shock to sexual assault to large-scale incidents like a terrorist attack or natural disaster can all have a significant impact on one’s emotional well-being. Providing travelers with access to the support and resources they need to both prevent and react to these types of situations is not only the right thing to do, but can also mean the difference between cancelling or continuing a program or “assignment. Organizations also have a responsibility to ensure the health, safety and well-being of their travelers, and following through with these responsibilities is a key factor in building trust, improving engagement and protecting your organization’s reputation. In this post, we’ll outline how behavioral health support integrates into your travel risk management strategy so travelers can safely—and fully—carry out their commitments.
- Find the Right Resources: Depending on the location of the assignment or program, access to behavioral health professionals may be limited, if available at all—and even when these services are available, language and cultural differences can cause barriers to receiving (and continuing with) care. This is why On Call offers clients flexible access to compassionate, Masters-level behavioral health professionals to support your organizations with immediate and ongoing crisis management services. Counseling sessions can be ad-hoc or scheduled, and can be delivered 24/7 via telephone, video or in-person – so travelers have access to the care they need, when they need it. In-person counseling is arranged using a vetted, global referral network of behavioral health professionals in 140 countries.
- Manage a Crisis Effectively: Responding to unforeseen events (e.g. terrorist attack, natural disaster, disease outbreak, etc.) can be challenging for any organization. While these types of incidents could lead to a temporary bout of stress and fear in some, it could trigger a full-blown crisis for others. Through a team of Masters-level professionals with extensive crisis response experience, On Call’s behavioral health services balance compassion and discretion while also facilitating consistent messaging and support to the victims, community and the affected families. Training exercises for administrators are integrated at program inception with the intent of aligning your organization’s customized emergency protocols with its larger travel risk management strategy.
- Promote Continuity: It’s no secret that some of the most stressful and darkest moments can erupt in places far away from home. Given the complicated and often ongoing nature of behavioral health obstacles abroad, having access to onsite crisis and bereavement support can be pivotal in ensuring traveler health, well-being and overall program/assignment continuity. With On Call, onsite crisis support can come in the form of group and individual debriefings as well as group-led education to help facilitate the traveler recovery process. Bereavement support can include onsite emotional support services for individual or multi-victim events, participation in the victim identification process and communication with loved ones back home.
- Create Alignment: With over 40 million Americans living with a mental health condition (that’s 1 in 5 American adults), it’s important to evaluate how your organization can align travelers’ behavioral health needs, duty of care and your broader risk management strategy. The key is providing crisis management assistance both during and after these situations in order to help give travelers with the resiliency they need to move forward. From communicating with all stakeholders through a crisis, to building aptitude for emergency preparation, we can help ensure your organization and your travelers understand their roles and duty of care considerations when supporting those affected by behavioral health challenges.
On Call’s behavioral health counseling and crisis management services are supported through a partnership with Empathia, an industry leader in providing highly customized, and successful behavioral health and crisis management programs to organizations across the globe.
For more information on integrating behavioral health support with your organization’s travel risk management and duty of care initiatives, contact us today.