Reaching out - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
After a traumatic event it is difficult to connect with others if you are experiencing disturbing memories, have painful or numbed emotions, or are questioning why things happen in the world.
Reaching out to social connections is a simple way to start managing your symptoms. Connecting with others anchors thoughts and feelings to the present, provides perspective, and reaffirms that you are not alone. Think about ways in which you may have stopped connecting with others, and:
Reaching out… to colleagues and Peer Support Officers
Policing exposes you to experiences that not everyone can relate to. Colleagues provide an understanding space to talk, without judgement or excessive emotion. Even a short conversation or debrief can be reassuring and help process your thoughts and feelings.
Peer Support Officers are trained in supporting colleagues through difficult times and may be another way to connect.
Reaching out… to friends and family
Speaking to friends and family after traumatic incidents can be difficult. You may be concerned that they will worry, or do not want them to hear distressing details.
Reaching out to friends and family does not mean having to discuss things in detail. Merely describing symptoms and emotions you are feeling creates the opportunity for your loved ones to step in and provide you with emotional support and soothing.
Friends and families usually recognise signs of distress but may not know how to best support you, or what services are available. The WA Police Force Family Support website provides a comprehensive overview of mental health information and services available to families.
Reaching out… to Police Chaplains
Traumatic events often cause people to question assumptions they have about themselves and the world, especially when things occur that do not make sense. Police Chaplains provide confidential emotional and spiritual support that may help you navigate these issues and provide comfort.
Reaching out… to Police Family Support
To access or get more information with what services are available to you and your family, please email Police Family Support or call 6229 5615 (8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday).