Addressing Trauma in Emergency Services

When it comes to working in emergency services, facing traumatic situations is an unavoidable part of the job. Whether you are first on the scene, or not directly involved at all, you can be affected by the situation. The fact is, it doesn’t really matter what role you played in any traumatic event, you can be negatively affected by it. The good news is that there are ways to help you address those effects that you can use almost anywhere, at almost any time and are extremely effective at helping you mitigate the physical, mental and emotional effects of shock and trauma.

One of the biggest obstacles many emergency services personnel face is admitting they are having a problem dealing with the effects of trauma because the belief that admitting there is a problem means they are weak. In fact, the opposite is true. Being able to recognize when you are struggling with something and taking steps to address the problem requires a level of self-awareness and strength that should be cultivated in everyone, especially in emergency services personnel. The level of intervention you might require can vary depending on the situation.

While it can be difficult to admit you have a problem or are struggling, it is up to us as individuals to take responsibility for our well-being but that doesn’t mean you have to do it all on your own. In fact, seeking support from someone you trust can mean the difference between a quick resolution to a problem or a long-term struggle with it. As part of a community, we also have a responsibility to recognize when others are struggling and offer whatever support you are able to give, even if it’s just a suggestion to connect with a friend, family member or colleague who might be able to better relate to their struggle. Knowing what techniques you can use to immediately take the edge off the problem, relieve some tension and allow you to gain some perspective on the situation is invaluable, especially when you can apply some of these techniques during these traumatic situations and lessen the effects of them from the start. Being able to spend more time using these same techniques later on, after you are done your shift, will give you an opportunity to address the effects on a much deeper level. Depending on your individual needs, this can be done in a group setting (as part of a debrief session), one on one with a trained staff member or therapist, or even on your own.

This is exactly what the program Feel Better Now!© can do for you and/or your organization. We will teach some of your staff members how to facilitate the program for the rest of your organization, giving you the ability to deliver the program in whatever way best suits the needs of your members. Your affiliation with our program will ensure you have ongoing support and guidance to ensure quality programming is available for your staff on an ongoing basis. We will answer any questions your facilitators might have and ensure they are delivering the program in the most effective way possible. We will help you regain some control over your response to traumatic situations. If this is something that interests you, let me know in the comments or message me directly.

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