Trauma

Traumatic events or personal tragedies can be overwhelming for people who are involved in or witness such happenings. Death, violence, accidents, injuries, unexpected illness, assaults, fires, robberies, and natural disasters are all examples of dramatic events that can disrupt our usual coping strategies. Even being witness to an angry, emotional outburst by someone at work can leave people feeling overwhelmed. When this happens, it can be helpful to talk to people about your reactions and learn about normal reactions to these events.

Reactions to critical incidents may include:

Physical

  • Eating problems
  • Excessive exercise
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Startled responses

Emotional

  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Guilt
  • Intrusive thoughts and/or images
  • Irritability
  • Numbness
  • Sadness

Cognitive

  • Confusion
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Memory disturbance

When a traumatic event occurs at work or happens to workers we know, it may be helpful to have a work group meet with someone from FSAO to debrief how this event may affect them. Generally, this debriefing should happen as close to the incident as possible. Call the FSAO at 617-353-5381 to arrange a meeting.