Vicarious Trauma Management Consulting for Employers
What is vicarious trauma?
Vicarious trauma refers to the detrimental impacts suffered by people who are indirectly exposed to traumatic material. Workers are exposed to traumatic material when they are deployed in disaster or combat zones, assist others in emergencies, or witness or hear about incidents of abuse, violence, torture, or neglect. Vicarious trauma is quite different to burnout.
The following types of professions are often at risk of vicarious trauma:
- Fire Brigade
- Emergency Services
- Psychology, Social Work and Counselling
- Community Services
- Child Protection
- Human Rights
According to research, the only predictor of whether or not a person will experience vicarious trauma is their exposure to traumatic material. This means that if people are exposed to traumatic material as a product of their work, vicarious trauma is a work, health and safety hazard.
The importance of organisational management of vicarious trauma
Vicarious Trauma can seriously impact on the well-being of a workforce and organisation. Vicarious trauma can produce significant and prolonged human and financial costs in the following areas:
- Employee physical and mental well-being
- Employee work performance
- Collegial relationships
- Workplace culture
- Staff attrition rates
- Unplanned absences from the workplace
- Worker compensation claims
Evidence demonstrates that organisations with robust vicarious trauma management programs in place can significantly reduce poor outcomes in the aforementioned areas. Managing vicarious trauma not only promotes the wellbeing of staff, it is cost effective and assists organisations in proactively complying with work, health and safety requirements.
How can we help your organisation?
Rape & Domestic Violence Services Australia recently won the WorkCover NSW’s SafeWork Award for its approach to Vicarious Trauma Management.
Rape & Domestic Violence Services Australia’s vicarious trauma experts can assist organisations to respond to vicarious trauma and thereby:
- Comply with WHS requirements
- Protect employee health and well-being
- Maximise employee work satisfaction
- Optimise bottom line returns
Clients include a wide range of non-profit organisations and government agencies working across very diverse settings. Regardless of size, the aim is to find the right solutions for each organisation’s specific needs.
“The expertise and support from R&DVSA in both consultation and training services have been such a valuable resource in our journey to develop our own VT Management Program, we don’t think we would have been able to progress so quickly without it.“ CatholicCare
The comprehensive solutions for effectively managing vicarious trauma include:
- Assessment of the organisation’s needs
- Individual consultation
- Development of tailored vicarious trauma management policies including specific strategies for risk reduction, monitoring, early intervention and offsetting the symptoms of vicarious trauma
- Provision of ongoing psychometric measurement of vicarious trauma in the workplace
- Administration of psychometric testing, analysis and reporting on results for individuals, teams and organisations
- Provision of training for staff to increase their awareness of vicarious trauma and equip them with the skills necessary to identify and manage vicarious trauma for themselves effectively
- Provision of training for managers/supervisors to develop effective strategies to manage vicarious trauma on an organisational level
- Mentoring and Supervision for senior staff leading the management of vicarious trauma.