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This trauma and recovery course aims to provide education about the impact of trauma for anyone with personal experience or an interest in this area. This course is not intended to replace trauma informed care, trauma therapy or trauma informed peer support, but it can be used to support these approaches.


The intention of this course is to make information about trauma available in an online learning format so that everyone can benefit from a greater understanding of the impact of trauma, with the hope that this understanding will form part of their recovery, or help with someone else’s. It will also be recognised as CPD for staff.

This course offers an introduction to the neuroscience that is beginning to explain how trauma can have an impact on memory and cognition. This course is for anyone who wants to find out more about how trauma can have an impact on memory and cognition, either for personal interest or for staff working with people who have experienced trauma. In addition to exploring the science of trauma this course also offers practical information and self-help suggestions. 

This course was created in collaboration with Dr Lynne Patience (Neuropsychology Service – Durham & Darlington Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Trust).

This course is divided into the following sections:


Dealing with the Personal Impact of a Major Incident

This section is aimed at anyone who has been affected by a major incident or knows someone who has, either personally or professionally. It considers the personal impact of a major incident and explores what can help.


Adults Supporting Children after a Major Incident

This section is aimed at adults supporting children in either a personal or professional capacity. For example, this could be family, carers, school or health service staff. It considers how a major incident can affect children and what you can do to support them. It also explores understanding why it is sometimes necessary to seek more help and when to do so.


Children Dealing with the Impact of a Major Incident 

This section has age appropriate information which a child could read through by themselves or ideally with an adult. The section uses a story format to explore some of the issues that children exposed to a major incident experience. This is in addition to the main content that provides more factual information and includes some activities aimed at helping children express their thoughts and feelings.


Young People Dealing with the Impact of a Major Incident 

This section has information specific to this age group about the personal impact of a major incident, what can help, and why it may be necessary to seek more help sometimes.


Pre-incident Preparedness

This section is aimed at professionals and organisations, identifying key aspects about how to plan and prepare prior to a major incident. It also aims to promote the resilience of survivors and responders directly or indirectly exposed to such incidents.


Community / Service level responses to trauma

This section provides a model identifying the priority tasks that need to be addressed following a major incident and also considers the impact and effectiveness for staff and survivors of various management styles.


Interviews with people who have experienced a major incident

This section has a collection of personal accounts with people who have experienced a major incident. Reading other people’s reflections while sometimes difficult, can deepen an individuals understanding of their own thoughts, feelings and behaviours and in this way may aid recovery.