This document focusses on the preventative strategies and methods that organisations can use to provide post traumatic or critical incident interventions internally to its own people with the intention of preventing mental ill health.
Blue Light Services continue to operate under extreme pressures which year on year seems to become even more demanding. The struggle to deliver optimum performance must not be at the expense of mental wellbeing.
Unfortunately, recent research by mental health charities including Mind have found that poor mental health is growing within all branches of the emergency services.
Some of the research findings are quite staggering with some 70% of police staff, 60% of Fire Service staff and 75% of Ambulance Service staff reporting personal experience of mental health problems.
Organisations that operate within these environments are becoming more and more aware that a failure to manage employee’s mental health can result in a failure to discharge their legal duties under legislation such as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007. Psychologically supporting colleagues can assist in asserting that an organisation is alive to its responsibilities as to a duty of care.
Recent trauma research has identified that in a group of traumatised emergency service workers, the perceived capability to perform at work was estimated to be 37% of their normal level of performance. It was also identified that errors increase. It is therefore essential that blue light organisations offer post trauma exposure crisis interventions as soon as possible.
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