Fi Ptsd Support

Supporting Employees with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Published by
27th June 2024

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that is caused by experiencing very stressful, frightening or distressing events. Most of us will experience at least one trauma in our lifetime that could lead to PTSD, although not all experiences with trauma lead to this disorder.

While often associated with military veterans, PTSD affects a wide range of individuals, including survivors of accidents, natural disasters, assaults, and other life-altering events. It is estimated that around 6% of the US population suffer from PTSD, and around 4% of the UK population. It is therefore very likely that employers will have team members who struggle with the disorder, and considering its delicate nature, it is important for them to know the best ways of supporting the mental health of these employees:

  • Provide Access to Resources – it’s always important to ensure that your company has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that can offer services such as confidential counselling and crisis intervention. It’s also important to review health insurance policies to determine whether they include therapy and medication for PTSD treatment.
  • Offer Specialized Training – offer training and workshops that help managers and supervisors recognize signs of PTSD and understand the best ways to support an affected employee. It is also important to train leaders to have the necessary soft skills in order to communicate empathetically and compassionately around the topic of mental health.
  • Flexible Working – offering employees with PTSD the ability to work flexibly can really help in the management of their symptoms, as well as enable them to attend therapy sessions without feeling pressured by time constraints. Employers can even consider certain job modifications to reduce stressors, such as reassigning certain tasks or adjusting performance expectations.
  • Crisis Management Plan – have a clear plan in place for employees to reach out for help during a mental health crisis. This should include contact information for EAPs, mental health hotlines, and on-site mental health professionals if available.
  • Foster an Open Culture – create a culture where employees feel comfortable discussing their mental health. This can be done by actively educating employees around mental health disorders such as PTSD through regular workshops and seminars. This will help challenge the taboos around mental health at work and equip employees with the skills to be able to identify when a fellow peer may be struggling.

Supporting employees with PTSD requires a multi-faceted approach. With each person’s experience with PTSD varying significantly, there is no one-size-fits-all way of supporting someone. So, educating managers and employees, training them on how to communicate and actively listen, and making employees aware of the resources available to them can all lend to optimizing the productivity of those that suffer with a mental health disorder and allow them to thrive in their working environment.

If you would like to discuss how we can help strengthen your mental health support strategies, please get in touch with us.

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