Many of us will have confronted the distressing media imagery and video footage of the horrific events which unfolded in Paris last week.  Tragic scenes of violence and pain dominated our social media feeds and TV screens and whilst we are somewhat removed from the situation here in the UK, viewing footage of this nature can cause a number of psychological issues, from anxiety and other fear-based responses and even depression.

 

Whilst the counter-terrorism teams are strengthening their abilities to protect the public here in the UK, simply knowing that Britain is on high alert and seeing the sheer volume of Police and special forces deployed to monitor major social hubs, in London in particular, it’s no wonder that our staff are experiencing emotional anguish.

 

How do we react to trauma?

Reactions to traumatic events are complicated, and no one person will respond in the same way. Individuals may experience a wide variety of issues including:

  • A sense of loss of control over the situation which may result in changes in behaviours, in order to gain a sense of stability and security
  • Feelings of vulnerability in public places including fear–based responses, such as refusing to use public transport to travel into work
  • A constant need to be vigilant which may result in the individual alienating themselves from social situations altogether
  • Confusion and difficulty concentrating at work; some may feel the need to coalesce or unite in their feelings with others and to discuss what has happened
  • Anger or irritability
  • Sleep disturbances and bad dreams
  • Withdrawal or distance from others

 

How can Employer’s help?

Whatever response your staff may be experiencing to any traumatic event, your support is crucial.  It’s important to maintain the status quo in the workplace.  Continue with daily routines, and aim to do what it takes to keep things as normal as possible. Patience and understanding is key; everyone’s response to trauma is different.  Try not to judge their response with your own.

 

Supporting individuals in your business is important.  Our Mental Health First Aid Webinar session is running on Wednesday 20th January at 7:30pm and it’s completely FREE to join.  We will be looking at the skills you need to understand and support those that have mental health issues, or perhaps are overcoming mental health issues or trauma.  It may be a good introduction to you in helping to support your staff through these types of issues.