Improving outcomes for trauma-experienced individuals through the delivery of trauma awareness training for multi-organisational public sector workers

Erin Richmond*, Robert McColm, Marie McCaig, Vikki Binnie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: In support of the national requirement “to ensure that Scotland has a workforce that is fully aware of the impact of trauma, and is equipped to respond appropriately to people who have experienced trauma at any age”, Trauma Awareness Training was delivered to various public sector organisations across Dumfries and Galloway. Research has shown that trauma can significantly impact quality of life (Svanberg, Bonney and McNair, 2011; Bentall et al., 2014). A trauma-informed practice workshop was created and evaluated in response to a need for training within public services for individuals working with clients whom have experienced trauma. 

Design/methodology/approach: From May 2018 to December 2019, 10 one-day Trauma-Awareness Training courses were delivered, engaging 224 public service workers from Police Scotland, Scottish Fire Service, Relationship Scotland, Shelter Scotland and DandG Council staff working with trauma-experienced individuals. The training was delivered via PowerPoint, short videos, whiteboard explanations/drawings and case examples. The morning workshop concentrated on defining psychological trauma, understanding the psychological process of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the subsequent consequences. The afternoon session focussed primarily on complex PTSD, the role of adverse childhood experiences, attachment and emotional regulation/dysregulation and trauma-focused working with the wider multi-disciplinary workforce. The training concluded with participants developing strategies for coping with trauma. Participants were asked to complete three questionnaires: pre-training questionnaire on perceived knowledge of trauma and delivering trauma practice. Post-training questionnaire on perceived knowledge of trauma and delivering trauma practice to assess change and training evaluation. A third questionnaire was issued seven months after training to establish the impact of training on practice. Findings: Findings evidence a positive impact on person-centred care. In terms of quality improvement, participants felt: The training was relevant across services and raised awareness of the importance of trauma-informed practice. They had a greater awareness of trauma-related issues with individuals. Confident in implementing learned skills to assist those who have experience of trauma. They could build better relationships with their service users, with patients feeling more understood.

Originality/value: Project findings identified a need for multi-organisational working and consultancy from psychological services to improve access to services. Ultimately, brief trauma-awareness training for staff can lead to more positive experiences for patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-35
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice
Volume17
Issue number1
Early online date6 Sep 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • training
  • trauma

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