Your Role in Addressing the Issue
PTSD can be difficult to deal with but should not be avoided. Addressing the issue and supporting workers who are experiencing PTSD will enhance the worker’s quality of life, improve work performance and end unnecessary struggles. Providing accommodations and support can help the individual to better manage and overcome any physical or psychological limitations they may be facing.
Organizations can support workers suffering from PTSD by providing access to support services and time needed to attend such support. Employers and supervisors should promote a work culture that encourages workers to seek the necessary help and provide education and training for all members on dealing with impacts of PTSD in the workplace. Establishing an effective prevention plan helps workers:
- understand the impact of traumatic exposures on workers and the workplace.
- take steps to identify and implement prevention, intervention, recovery and return to work strategies.
- build a culture that promotes psychological health and safety in the workplace and breaks down stigma barriers.
People returning to work after a traumatic event may also need to transition back through less demanding tasks. It is important to remember that no one is untouched by a traumatic event. By acknowledging common reactions such as grief, sadness, anger and anxiety, using the appropriate supports and establishing an effective prevention plan, workers can move forward from the trauma in a healthy and safe manner.
Launched in 2013, the first of its kind in the world, the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace is a set of voluntary guidelines, tools and resources intended to guide organizations in promoting mental health and preventing psychological harm at work. In 2018, the Canadian Standards Association published a new psychological health and safety standard to address the specific needs of paramedic service organizations. The standard is built on leading best practices and research, and key guidance and concepts from the 2013 Standard. Adopting the Standard can help organizations with productivity, financial performance, risk management, organizational recruitment, and employee retention.