Traumatic events and loss a common experience – not just in London but worldwide!
It appears that traumatic events and loss are very common in people’s lives across the globe. In a World Health Organisation (WHO) study of 21 countries, more than 10% of respondents reported witnessing violence (21.8%) or experiencing interpersonal violence (18.8%), accidents (17.7%), exposure to war (16.2%) or trauma to a loved one (12.5%). Amazingly it is estimated that over 3% of the world’s population has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the previous 12 months.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) is now extending their care protocols to include care for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), acute stress and bereavement within its global programme.
As a result of these new protocols primary health-care workers will be able to offer basic psychosocial support to refugees as well as people exposed to trauma or loss in other situations.
Types of support offered can include psychological first aid, stress management and helping affected people to identify and strengthen positive coping methods and social supports.
In addition, referral for advanced treatments such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) or a new technique called eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) should be considered for people suffering from PTSD. These techniques help people reduce vivid, unwanted, repeated recollections of traumatic events. More training and supervision is recommended to make these techniques more widely available.
For more inormation on how the WHO is now recognising new ways to treat PTSD visit their website.