The correct response to a traumatic event greatly affects long term well being.
We can usually provide same day or next day on-site workplace support.
When your workplace falls victim to a trauma, it is essential that your staff and managers have prompt:
- INFORMATION about the potential emotional repercussions of trauma and when to seek further help, and
- ACCESS TO SUPPORT and resources in a manner which assures the best long term outcome. This may include short term counselling for affected staff.
This is where an established EAP and trauma response service can be invaluable – providing professional assistance to your employees when they need it most.
Our Critical Incident Response (CIR) service can offer:
- immediate emotional support for the victims of a traumatic event in the workplace (onsite & offsite)
- information sessions for staff on how to manage Acute Stress Response prevent PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress) after a critical incident in the workplace
- ongoing counselling for PTSD sufferers or staff affected by trauma or stress
Whilst some jobs are more susceptible to traumatic experiences than others (for example police work or emergency response) – a traumatic event can take place in any workplace.
Some important facts about traumatic injury:
- Early intervention is normally limited to education, brief emotional support and ‘psychological first aid’. Late response is usually more complex and costly.
- The response to trauma varies greatly from person to person. Traumatic stress injuries like PTSD develop several months after the actual event. Don’t assume everyone is ok just because people seem to be coping ok.
- People often try to minimise their symptoms to avoid shame and stigma in the workplace. This will usually make the psychological injury worse.
- Unchecked and untreated, traumatic stress response can reduce employee well-being, leading to lost productivity, higher long term claim costs and increased insurance premiums. Staff and business both loose out. It is therefore important for any organisation to have the capacity to respond swiftly to workplace trauma.
In the first instance, it is important to be able to offer immediate support in the form of empathy and encouragement. A person who has been subjected to trauma may need simple acts of compassion from work colleagues, time off to recoup with family or friends, they might wish to talk about their experience, or they might need gentle assistance to ‘get back on the horse’.
Of course, everyone responds to trauma in different ways, and not everyone who experiences trauma will go on to suffer from traumatic stress. It is nonetheless important for managers to be aware of some of the signs of post-traumatic stress so they can know what to watch out for.
Our counsellors help organisations respond to a range of workplace trauma including:
- an unexpected workplace death or the suicide of a colleague
- armed robbery
- workplace violence
- workplace injury
- natural disaster
- diagnosis of terminal illness of a colleague
We also work with unique employee groups who are at a heightened risk of stress, violence or vicarious trauma, for e.g. people working in the funeral industry, people working in nightclubs or bars, emergency services and so on.
Symptoms of post-traumatic stress include:
- Unusual displays of irritability
- Reduced workplace performance
- Withdrawal from social activities or from interpersonal communication
- Conflict with work colleagues
- Increased intake of alcohol
- Melancholy or other signs of depression
- Changes in personality
- Sleeping problems
- Engaging in risky behaviour or undertakings
Note that some of these symptoms are also suggestive of more general job-related concerns such as poor workplace performance, interpersonal conflict, disagreements with management, or physical ailments. Our Employee Assistance Program can support affected staff, and their managers, to handle the impact of stress.
In an environment where workplace stress claims are on the rise , today’s astute businesses simply can’t afford to ignore the value of a professional and responsive EAP provider. Call us today for immediate assistance.