5.1 Community/Service Level Responses to Trauma

1. Introduction

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This course will take approximately 45-60 minutes to complete, but this timing will depend on how fast you read and how long you spend on the activities and reflective questions. You do not need to complete the whole course in one go. If you leave and come back to the course you can pick up where you left off.

This section explores the responses of communities and organisations experiencing trauma. It is aimed at increasing the abilities of these different groups to effectively manage the personal impact of a trauma.

In nearly all work places there is the chance of being exposed to trauma, in the form of difficult or distressing circumstances. This could be the sudden death or suicide of a colleague or within a school due to the death of a child or young person. Or there maybe violence towards staff, serious accidents or injuries, burglary or the wider effect of a major incident occurring locally or nationally.

Communities can be similarly traumatised as the result of natural events such as landslides/flooding, or because of human intent, such as acts of terrorism.

Some organisations are considered to be at higher risk of exposure to trauma, for example, the police or mental health services. Because the risk is acknowledged to be higher, these organisations often fair better in the aftermath of an incident than organisations which are considered to be at lower risk as they will have the benefit of experience from managing previous incidents and well established plans and procedures.

Whereas communities or organisations comprising volunteers may not have the same degree of training, team support or infrastructure to draw from when compared to other more established emergency services.

The following definition helps us consider what communities require when facing adversity:-

"Community resilience is the capability to anticipate risk, limit impact and bounce back rapidly through survival, adaptability, evolution and growth in the face of turbulent change."

(CARRI report 2013, page 10)

Throughout this course you will see the Personal Journal link, below, this is a place where you can note your thoughts as you go through the course - this is confidential to you.

Personal Journal

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