Trauma & mental health
Health practitioners should encourage people affected by traumatic events to seek the support of family, friends and community groups.
Structured psychological debriefing should not be offered on a routine basis.
Talk to your doctor at any time if you feel very distressed or your reactions are interfering with your work and relationships.
There is no standard recipe for how people cope with trauma. Each person has a unique way of recovering. They should be supported in using strategies and resources that suit them, and that are readily available.
If people seek professional support immediately following a traumatic event, a health practitioner will take a practical approach that meets the person's immediate needs and helps them cope with their distress. This is sometimes referred to as psychological first aid. For example, someone who has just been in a severe car accident might need:
- Encouragement to ask help from, and spend time with, family and friends
- Information about the right pain relief
- Information about possible emotional reactions to traumatic events
- Gentle encouragement and support to get back into a car
Immediately following a traumatic event
Information, training and service development
ACPMH can provide information and service development advice to organisations that would like to improve their immediate response to traumatic events. Contact us for more information.