TO HELP OTHERS DEALING WITH TRAUMATIC STRESS INCIDENTS
- Encourage, but do not pressure others to talk about what happened and their reaction to the incident. When they want to talk- listen. Don't give advice, just listen and be present.
- Ask them what you can do to be helpful
- Offer support, safety, and compassionate care even though you may not understand what they are going through.
- Offer to help them with everyday tasks such as cleaning, cooking and caring for children and other family members
- Give them space AND encourage them not to isolate from others.
- Don't take their anger or other feelings personally.
- Remember that "getting back to normal" takes time. Grief and loss has no time line.
- Be aware that recovery is not a straight path but can be a matter of two steps forward and one back. You will make progress.
- Say things like "I'm sorry this happened", "I'm sorry for your loss" or "How can I help". Do not say things like "It was God's will", "You are lucky, it could have been worse", "everything happens for a reason" or "just keep your mind busy with something else".
- Discourage use/overuse of drugs/alcohol if possible.
- Encourage self-care which includes plenty of rest and normal exercise and eating well-balanced, regular meals.
Sources- adapted from
www.icisf.org and www.emu.edu/star