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Dealing with Traumatic Times

Friday 17, Jan 2020


HR expert Vicki Crowe provides some advice on how to support a work colleague who may be experiencing personal difficulties following a major trauma or natural disaster.

Would you know how best to support a person who has experienced an emergency, disaster or traumatic event?  According to employee counselling organisation Acacia Connection, people who have, or are, experiencing an emergency, disaster or traumatic event can have physical, psychological, emotional and behavioural responses which can impede a person’s ability to cope.

During and after an emergency, like the recent catastrophic bushfires in NSW and Queensland, people can lose trust in social norms and networks.  As a result, we may experience a range of thoughts and feelings that can be confusing and frightening.  Social norms are the unwritten rules or guidelines about how we behave. Most of us, the majority of time, conform to these guidelines according to the roles we perform.  These are some of the feelings and responses with grief and loss;

Feelings Responses
Fear Sleeping difficulty
Confusion Aggression
Sadness Mood swings
Anger Obsessive
Depression Reliving events
Anxiety Being in a haze


This article was originally published in Volume 21.6 (Nov-Dec 2019) of the Australian Turfgrass Management Journal. To subscribe to the journal click here. 

Click here to read the full article.