We are living through extraordinary times, the like of which we have never before experienced in the UK. Our emergency services and hospital teams sweep into action after each atrocity to offer medical assistance to the injured and comfort those who suffered the ultimate loss. For those who lost family members or sustained life-changing injuries, the road ahead is long and painful. At first, people will remember the victims but, as time goes by and terror campaigns targeting innocent victims continue, names will sadly turn into statistics.There are many types of traumatic event that occur in the workplace
However, you don’t have to be caught up in terrorist attacks to feel the effects of trauma. It could be that simply watching the news brings reminders of a time when you experienced trauma yourself. Trauma may be brought on by events such as an accident at home or at work, a robbery, a fire, lay-offs, death in service, threats, violence, or natural disasters such as floods.What can an organisation do?
Nothing can adequately prepare organisations or individuals for the occurrence of a traumatic incident because, by definition, such incidents are outside ‘normal’ experience. But research shows that the way an organisation treats its staff in the aftermath of a traumatic incident can have a profound effect, not only on the recovery of individuals directly involved, but also on their colleagues and families. Individuals may be traumatised (i.e. severely affected) by a disaster for some time afterwards and during this period their productivity and commitment to the organisation can be drastically reduced. In this context, managers may find themselves having to play a key role in managing a situation which might ultimately be more damaging to the organisation than the original event.
The nature of trauma
Irrational guilt for having survived when others did not
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Resultant behavioural problems
What can be done to help
Talking to a trained counsellor is often beneficial and can reduce much of the tension and anxiety. Trying to ignore personal feelings or avoiding having to think or talk about the incident, in the belief that the individual can cope, is usually counter-productive in the long run. Suppressing feelings can lead to problems being stored up and that can create even greater difficulties.
When to ask for professional support
It is important to encourage individuals to remember that talking about their experience can help. Suppressing their feelings, on the other hand, can lead to further problems in the future.
How to Cope With Trauma
Posted under Uncategorized