Primary Trauma

For first responders there are two kinds of primary trauma: From our personal life (eg. childhood, war, accidents) or caused by work related exposure (eg. seeing human suffering, witnessing repeated injustices). Challenges arise when we have not had the opportunity to engage in our own mental and personal growth to foster resilience and adopt new coping skills. Caring for one’s own mental and emotional health is remarkably important in this line of work, when encountering human distress is common and often expected. Being unaware of the ways our trauma history is impacting our work negatively can become destructive and make us more vulnerable to vicarious trauma when working with other traumatized people.

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