A referral to the mental coaching team can be carried out via a central notification point (reachable 24/7). We may also be contacted via referral from (diving) doctors, the decompression chambers or managers of diving schools. The mental coaching team will then contact the victim after (indirect) permission.
The management of the MCT will choose the best support worker depending on the region, availability, his experience in mental coaching or the wish of the affected person (support by one of the instructors, or preferably not). The coach must contact the person in need within 24 hours. We will never force our support on anyone. This is not productive, because the person concerned must want to be supported in order to achieve results. This is why we work “on demand”.
Our service consists of:
A. Individual support by means of a number of telephone conversations or face-toface contacts.
In such conversations, an attempt is made to find the best way to give back control of the situation to the person concerned. During these conversations, any additional needs are identified, and additional symptoms observed. Furthermore, it is also an important ask to refer the person concerned to professional care providers (for example, a psychologist or GP) if the person shows symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder.
B. Club debriefing
This usually happens after a fatal accident, at the request of the diving buddy, family or club. Divers, people affected (directly or indirectly) and family members can be encouraged on this occasion to share their emotions and experiences in a group. The aim of the club debriefing is, in the first instance, to reduce the stress of those affected and of those present, and also to create a connection between the people affected. We also help to provide space for and gain clarity about a number of feelings.
During the debriefing, the mental coaching team acts as a facilitator. This means that we guide the session, but do not interfere with the content. This type of group debriefing proceeds in 7 phases (see Appendix 1)
C. Training for diving first-aiders
The mental coaching team also gives a session during the course for diving FirstAiders. This course is organised by the Medical Commission in collaboration with the Diving Training Committee. The aim of this course is to train divers and non-divers in order to guarantee “safety all round”, or “first aid for diving accidents”. In this 7-part series of lessons, space is also provided for the subject “mental first aid in diving accidents”.