Pilot schemes will train workers to deal with trauma

15 May 2019, 15:42 | Updated: 15 May 2019, 15:44

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New pilot schemes to train frontline workers such as police officers, teachers and health visitors in dealing with trauma have been announced.

Three councils - Glasgow, Midlothian, and Argyle and Bute - will share £120,000 of Scottish Government cash to develop training plans.

The pilot projects are part of the three-year National Trauma Training programme announced in 2018, backed with £1.35 million.

So far, around 3,000 frontline workers have been trained by NHS Education for Scotland, which runs the national scheme, to help them develop a better understanding of the needs of those affected by traumatic experiences.

Glasgow has identified alcohol and drugs, homelessness, community justice and mental health services as priority areas for the training.

Midlothian will use the funding for a new Recovery Hub for those affected by substance misuse, criminal justice, mental health challenges and social disadvantage.

In Argyll and Bute, the money will go towards training for people working with children and teenagers, such as social workers, child health teams and foster carers.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: "Abuse, neglect and other traumatic experiences, especially in childhood, can have a devastating and long-lasting impact upon people's lives.

"Frontline workers - who most frequently come into contact with people who have experienced trauma - must be able to respond confidently, with compassion and care.

"Not everyone needs to be an expert, but every interaction is an opportunity to support recovery and prevent re-traumatisation.

"Demand for training has already been very high and that is why three local pilot schemes in Glasgow, Argyll and Bute and Midlothian will develop the next, more in-depth phase of the training."

Dr Sandra Ferguson, national coordinator of the Trauma Training Programme at NHS Education for Scotland, said: "Over the first year of this programme, we have been delighted with the huge levels of enthusiasm and interest across Scotland.

"Almost 3,000 people have received face-to-face training and many more have worked with the team to help their organisations become trauma-informed.

"Scotland was the first country to develop a knowledge and skills framework for psychological trauma, and a lot of remarkable work is underway to improve how we all respond to the needs of people affected by traumatic and adverse experiences.

"This programme will help equip the workforce with skills and confidence to respond, in line with the principles of trauma informed practice."