The Stress Continuum was first created for use by the US Marine Corps for use in combat setting. Often used as a snapshot at how soldiers were managing stress in combat operations, it has now been applied to a variety of settings, including firefighters (Stress First Aid) and Law Enforcement and more recently has been adopted for use by outdoor organizations such as NOLS and Outward Bound.

The continuum can be used a self-assessment tool, in order to provide those affected by single incident or cumulative stress to detect early and late changing reactions caused by overwhelming stress.

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