Resources for First Responders

If you see these signs or think you may be experiencing vicarious trauma consider talking with a counselor. They may be able to help identify ways to cope with what you are experiencing. It’s also a good idea to engage in some behaviors that may prevent or decrease the impact of vicarious trauma: • Separate yourself from the trauma you witness. When you help someone, try not to take on the burden of what they are feeling by putting yourself in their position within your own mind. Relating too closely to someone experiencing trauma may cause impact to you as well. If you find yourself thinking about them after you get off of work, try to distract yourself by focusing on doing something you enjoy. • Take a break. Take breaks throughout the day to focus on things that aren’t related to your work. Try to focus on things that you enjoy, such as read a book for few minutes, use humor where appropriate, or debrief with a confidant. Even having a small conversation with a coworker without talking about work can be helpful for a mental break. with people you are serving it may give them the idea that they can reach you in your personal life. If you are also relating to them in your personal life, you aren’t giving yourself a real break from work. • Take care of yourself. Eating well, exercising and getting enough sleep is important for physical health, but also for mental health. Staying physically healthy helps your mind produce the important chemicals needed to cope with stress. • Monitor yourself. If you notice that you are starting to experience signs of various traumas, reach out and talk with a supervisor, counselor or friend, and get support. Maintain good professional boundaries. • Maintain good professional boundaries. When you cross professional boundaries

[Vicarious Trauma . Wendt Center, Web. 2016.]

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