10 May 2021
Mental Health Awareness Week takes place between Monday, 10, and Sunday, 16 May 2021. This year’s theme is nature.
On St Helena and to recognise Mental Health Awareness Week, we introduce you to the Traumatic Risk Management (TRiM) training that was recently undertaken by St Helena Government Staff.
Stress is a normal part of life. Usually we cope. Sometimes, particularly if we experience a traumatic event we can become overwhelmed by stress. One of the ways in which a person can be supported after a traumatic event is through the use of TRiM.
Most people will have heard of PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This is when stress, following a traumatic event, becomes so intense that a person develops mental health problems.
Fortunately, most people who experience a traumatic event do not go on to develop PTSD. With the right support the risk of developing PTSD is very low.
TRiM is a system where trained practitioners meet with people after a traumatic incident. The practitioner works with the person to identify any immediate psychological issues and develops a plan to help them cope. Approximately one month later the practitioner has a follow-up meeting with the person. Usually after a month, most, if not all, psychological issues have resolved.
If the person is not coping at any time during this period the TRiM practitioner is available to support the person to seek professional help.
TRiM practitioners do not have to be mental health professionals but they are trained to assist people who have experienced traumatic events and to identify risks to the person’s mental health.
On St Helena, we now have eight TRiM practitioners – Latoya Thomas, Jackie Henry, Dave John, Simon Wade, Gary Henry, Ian Rummery, Karl Martin and Jason Lawrence – who are working towards developing a team to respond to traumatic events. We are fortunate that ‘March on Stress’, a psychological health consultancy, who provided the training, are willing to provide ongoing assistance to the team and further training is planned for the future.
TRiM works as evidence shows a significant reduction in psychological harm after a traumatic event where TRiM is used. It does not require highly specialised staff so this is a system that is sustainable and can be implemented quickly after a traumatic event.
As we focus our attention on stress and mental health we can feel reassured that in the event of a traumatic incident we are building resilience within our community.
#StHelena #MentalHealthAwareness #MentalHealthMatters #AltogetherHealthier
10 May 2021