It is crucial to both an organisation and an individual’s needs to identify even low levels of post-traumatic symptoms, according to ex-Royal Marine and March on Stress crisis and trauma expert Gavin Rogers.
Gavin was speaking last week at the Institute of Remote Healthcare Conference in Aberdeen.
He said: “There is considerable science and research which now shows that while only a minority of individuals who are exposed to traumatic incidents are likely to develop mental health problems, including but not limited to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the effects of trauma can have wide reaching implications.
“Traumatic incidents often put pressure on an organisation’s welfare services and can affect an organisation’s overall morale.
“Just because someone doesn’t become clinically ‘ill’, evidence suggests that many people do suffer with post-incident mental health symptoms and their ability to function in the workplace is substantially impaired as a result.”
Many organisations that typically put employees ‘in harm’s way’ use peer-support programmes (e.g. trauma risk management – TRiM) as a means of managing a traumatic incident.
The UK military are one of the biggest supporters of such programmes and Gavin – who now delivers trauma risk management training for March on Stress - spoke from his own extensive experience as a Royal Marine with more than 30 years’ service.
He continued: “In times of trauma, people are more likely to seek support or talk frankly to their peers, rather than a medical professional. This is the key to a peer-support approach. It trains people to identify signs of trauma and ensure that the person is supported and signposted to medical help if needed.
“By having such a system in place, organisations are equipping themselves to provide psychological first-aid. This has clear business benefits and morally, shows that an organisation is taking care of its people and their health needs in every respect.”
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