A mental ailment is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to the Canadian Mental Health Association. Exposure to traumatic events including death or the prospect of death, severe injury, or sexual assault is required. ""Being affected by these types of experiences is natural, but if the thoughts or recollections start to substantially influence the individual's life long after the occurrence, that person could be developing PTSD,"" the FirstRespondersFirst website notes.
What kinds of events fall under the category of trauma?
When something is extremely frightful, overwhelming, or distressing, it is traumatic. The occurrence often comes as a surprise, and the person often feels helpless to prevent or alter it. Crimes, natural catastrophes, accidents, war or conflict, sexual violence, or other hazards to life or safety are a few examples. In other circumstances, if the trauma occurred to others, such as loved ones, a person may experience the same response. Trauma is not usually associated with a particular prior event, according to the Canadian Mental Health Association. Some forms of trauma, particularly persistent wrongdoing like abuse or military trauma, can have an effect on a person's life far beyond the signs of PTSD. Some people refer to these experiences using other terminology, such as ""complicated PTSD.""
What professions may expose a person to trauma more frequently?
Any person could potentially encounter or witness a distressing occurrence. Military people, paramedics, firemen, police, dispatch receivers, prison officers, doctors, nurses, and other emergency employees are some professions with a higher chance of getting PTSD. Employees who work in environments where robberies could occur or where there is a significant chance of a serious occurrence are also at danger.
What typical signs and challenges might someone encounter?
One variety of anxiety condition is PTSD. While symptoms frequently start between one and three months after the incident, it is also possible for them to take many years to manifest. Nightmares, uncontrollable recollections, enduring fear, and excruciating anxiety are all signs of PTSD. Many claim to have severe nightmares or flashbacks and to be reliving the horrible event. They frequently avoid things that bring up memories of the incident; for instance, someone harmed in a car accident might steer clear of the wheel. Some examples of challenges are as follows: feeling extremely tense, frightened, horrified, guilty, or ashamed. feeling less connected to their body, their thoughts, their loved ones, or their social circle. Feeling constantly ""on guard"" for danger or as though something horrible might happen again. being easily startled or terrified. attempting to stay away from situations, things, people, or activities that bring up the incident. Unhappiness with life and work. having difficulties focusing and paying attention. difficulties falling asleep. being depressed, unhappy, or unmotivated avoiding groups of people or public spaces. seeking out alternative coping mechanisms, such as turning to drugs or alcohol. Some people may experience physical side effects such breathing difficulties, lightheadedness, chest pain, etc.
How can we help?
It is crucial to take these symptoms seriously and to speak with a healthcare provider if you believe that you or someone you know is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Treatment options range widely, and include counseling, medication, and support groups. NOTE: Dial 911 or your local emergency number if someone needs help right now (for example, if they are having suicidal thoughts). Stay with the person if necessary and it is safe to do so, or take them to the emergency room of the nearest hospital. Please get in touch with a crisis center in your area if they need to speak with a specialist right now. By province or territory, the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention provides a list of crisis hotlines.
What is an office capable of?
The development and implementation of a Comprehensive Workplace Health and Safety (CWHS) Program is one strategy to establish a psychologically safe workplace. This program is a collection of strategies, initiatives, and policies created by the employer with input from workers to continuously enhance or preserve the standard of working life, employee health, and workforce well-being. These initiatives are created as a part of an ongoing process of improvement in order to enhance the working environment (physical, psychological, organizational, and economic), as well as to foster greater personal agency and development. See the OSH Answers article ""Workplace Health and Well-being - Comprehensive Workplace Health and Safety Program"" for further details about this program. Risk assessments should be carried out by organizations when employees may be exposed to traumatic events or witness them in order to identify potential risks and hazards. Address potential trauma concerns, such as security, robbery prevention techniques, etc. It is possible to design policies, procedures, and programs to ensure workplace safety as well as to particularly address PTSD, including how to keep track of trauma exposures. Pay attention to the organizations' pledges to create, implement, and sustain the initiatives. Include staff members in this process. Create specialized recovery and return to work plans as necessary for PTSD and other mental health conditions. Understanding the effects that PTSD and other mental health issues may have on the organization may help organizations prepare. Management and staff should be instructed and trained in topics including anti-stigma, general knowledge, resilience, signs and symptoms, how to seek support, and how to help those who may be in need. Establish a critical event response strategy that will enable employee help or other forms of support in the case of an emergency. Create a reporting procedure so that employees may voice their concerns or report problems.
What am I able to accomplish as a manager, coworker, or a supervisor?
To support people experiencing PTSD or any other mental health issue, managers or co-workers may Lead by example. Reduce stigma and encourage conversations. Address their observations, try to have an open discussion, and offer support if you recognize signs or symptoms. Recognize that withdrawal and anger is part of the PTSD disorder. Ask how to support them, even if they are not ready to talk about it. Help them find support. Encourage them to talk to someone they trust. Let them know it is healthy to reach out and accept support. Take care of yourself as well and make your own health and safety a priority. Encourage workers to report concerns or incidents so that these events can be investigated and addressed. Workplaces can further help by providing access to support services, such as employee assistance programs (EAP) , as well as the time needed to attend such support. People returning to work after an event may need to transition back through less demanding tasks. Remember that no one who sees a traumatic event is untouched by it. Common reactions are grief, anger, sadness, and anxiety. By acknowledging these feelings and using appropriate support or coping strategies, individuals can feel supported.
Where can I find more resources on PTSD in the workplace?
This document has covered general information about PTSD. There are many other organizations that can help. Your family doctor can often recommend a professional for you. For more information you may wish to contact one of the following: FirstRespondersFirst.ca, including the Employers Guide Canadian Mental Health Association The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) (*We have mentioned these organizations as a means of providing a potentially useful referral. You should contact the organization(s) directly for more information about their services. Please note that mention of these organizations does not represent a recommendation or endorsement by CCOHS of these organizations over others of which you may be aware.)"""