Nation-wide psychological trauma training rollout

Friday 12th July 2019

More than 5,000 frontline workers in Scotland are to be trained in how to recognise and deal with psychological trauma, the Health Secretary announced today.

Under the trauma training plan – the first of its kind in the UK and developed by NHS Education for Scotland – police, social workers, nurses and other frontline staff will be trained to support those affected by traumatic experiences.

Abuse, neglect and other traumatic experiences, especially in childhood, can have a devastating and long-lasting impact upon people’s lives,” the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Jeane Freeman, said.

Living through a traumatic event is more common than previously recognised, and these experiences can result in inequalities in physical and mental health, employment prospects and access to services.

We want to see all frontline services across Scotland become more informed and responsive to trauma, and our training plan looks to equip workers with the necessary training to support people affected by trauma to recover.

I want to encourage employers to read our plan and think about how they can use it to support the development of staff knowledge and skills within their organisations.” 

The Scottish Government’s £1.35m national trauma training programme was established last year and developed for workers supporting children and adults who have experienced trauma and adversity, such as physical or sexual abuse.

The training plan is in addition to £138,000 of funding for the Lifelines Scotland initiative announced earlier this month, that looks to provide frontline emergency workers with access to tailored mental health resources.

Dr Sandra Ferguson, national coordinator of the trauma training programme at NHS Education for Scotland said:

There is a national recognition that traumatic experiences are more common than we realise. It is important to acknowledge that trauma is everybody’s business and that we all have an important part to play.

Scotland was the first country to develop a Knowledge and Skills Framework for Psychological Trauma, and a lot of remarkable work is underway to improve how we all respond to the needs of people affected by traumatic experiences.

The Trauma Training Plan, developed by NES, will support services locally and nationally to develop and sustain a workforce that is able to respond to anyone affected by psychological trauma.

It also offers key principles that will help all organisations, no matter how big or small, to support their workforce to put trauma training into practice."