This morning, Sky News contacted me because of my experience as a Trauma therapist having worked at the London Fire Brigade. I was interviewed by Tom Macleod in relation to a film released by the Fire Fighters Charity raising awareness of PTSD and mental health which highlights the importance of support for individuals and their families. You can watch it here:
I said it is important to provide support and psycho-education for individuals and also to provide information for families to help them recognise the signs, should someone be struggling with traumatic distress or PTSD.
If after 4-6 weeks someone is exhibiting some of the following, they may be struggling with traumatic stress:
- flashbacks – which may include sound or smell recall or traumatic images as if it is happening in present time
- mood swings, irritability, anger
- becoming more withdrawn or isolated
- depression and /or lethargy
- increased intake of alcohol
It is important to get support to help process the trauma if symptoms of distress continue after 4-6 weeks following an incident.