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Trauma in the Workplace: The Impact of Post Traumatic Stress

Organisations can find out about the potential impact of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) for their staffing policies and practices with a new White Paper ‘Trauma in the Workplace’, authored by UK military veteran’s charity PTSD Resolution. A free copy of the White Paper is available for download.

PTSD can not only affect those involved in front-line police and security services, but staff in a wide range of positions, particularly those engaged in stressful job functions or with members of the public.

Colonel A Gauvain (Retired), a counsellor and chairman of PTSD Resolution, says:

Mental health disorders account for one in five of all work days lost and cost UK employers £25 billion each year. Trauma in particular can result in depression and behavioural problems for employees. Left untreated, the condition may cause avoidable accidents, extended sick-leave and dismissal – and represents a major legal liability for Government, Councils and other employers.

PTSD can result from an incident at work, he says; but also from an event outside the workplace, many years previously, with the effects only surfacing as a result of domestic or work pressures, for example.

Disturbingly, most managers are unable to recognise the symptoms of trauma, from research by the charity. This is why PTSD Resolution has introduced a half-day course: TATE, Trauma Awareness Training for Employers (Institute of Directors, Pall Mall, London, Nov 29th, £199 plus VAT).

Resolution is a UK charity (No. 1133188) that offers free counselling to UK Armed Forces veterans and reservists. It also provides support for HR personnel and line managers in public and private organisations to meet employers’ statutory obligations – and avoid the financial impact and the personal cost to employees of trauma.

The trauma awareness training course enables managers to recognise trauma symptoms; understand the effects on staff behaviour; engage with traumatised people to identify practical options; and find a clear route to resolving workplace difficulties caused by trauma.

A free copy of the White Paper is available for download and also details of the half-day course in central London, Nov 29th 2012 TATE Training – www.ptsdresolution.org

Charity at Work

Resolution therapists are trained in Human Givens Therapy (HGT), which includes a form of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (TFCBT), consistent with the guidelines of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

Patients are not required to talk about the traumatic events. The programme policy is that re-exposure is better done in the client’s visual imagination and while in a relaxed state, protecting confidentiality and reducing distress. This relatively new development of TFCBT is similar to Imagery Re-scripting and Reprocessing Therapy (IRRT).

The Resolution network was launched in February 2010, following a three-year pilot programme, which included a project with the Falklands Veterans Foundation and helped ex-services personnel recover from symptoms which had lasted 25 years in some cases.

The programme has an 83 per cent success rate across the 266 UK veterans treated to date. This is similar to the recovery rate in the recent study of 599 stress-related cases from the general population who were treated using HGT: over 70 per cent reached a significant and sustained improvement after an average of 3.6 counselling sessions.

Treatment is complementary to the work of other armed forces charities, because it can resolve the immediate mental health issues that may be barriers to successful help under reintegration and resettlement programmes.

Therapists also work in prisons, and there is an active programme of engagement with the prison service nationally. The patron of the charity is Lord Ramsbotham, former Inspector of Prisons. There are an estimated 8,500 veterans in prison with 3,000 on parole. NAPO estimates that half this number suffer from PTSD and related disorders.

Resolution provides a service that is absent from the national provision for veterans’ mental health, according to the charity; of those veterans that access counselling through other channels, research suggests that the majority approach their GP and just receive medication, without dealing with the trauma. One study of vulnerable veterans found that only 4% of those seeking counselling had been offered evidence-based therapeutic help.

For further information Contact:

PTSD Resolution at www.ptsdresolution.org or Tel 0845 021 7873 or e-mail contact@ptsdresolution.org.

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