Can Do Healthcare - Thinking Differently Together About Trauma Informed Care

that means in a criminal justice system – selfharm, risk, and also suicide. If we get this right people have got lives, they have got a lifetime of support, but they also have amazing talent. We have to go that extra element to ensure that we use the innovation and collaboration and we absolutely know that trauma informed practice is not just about the NHS it is about the whole collaboration with local authorities, police and crime commissioners, with the voluntary sector and most importantly with those with lived experience. Lived Experience – Felicity’s Story “I’ve experienced trauma throughout my life; starting as a child at my Father’s hand – sexual, emotional and physical, and then carried on when I became an anti-apartheid activist, culminating in me being detained by the police and threatened with torture and having food and water withheld. I then went on to work in war zones around the world and saw terrible things, although I was a bit more protected because of my status as an advisor, so I think that’s really where most of it has come from. I lived on Fiji for a while and there was a coup and a mutiny during the time we were there and I was involved in that as well, and the legal challenges; and then working with refugees and asylum seekers in the UK and their claims for refugee status, and reliving their trauma with them, and when they recounted things like rape. I first saw a therapist when I was in my early twenties, to deal with post traumatic stress disorder brought on by my anti-apartheid activities and dealt with that. I then left counselling for a few years and then felt I needed it again to deal with the abuse I’d had at my Father’s hands, which again, took a few years to cope with, and then had a break from counselling. I went back to it probably about ten years ago to deal with the trauma that I’d had in war zones and in working with asylum seekers who had been tortured. From the South African point of view, for post-traumatic stress disorder, I used to jump when I heard any loud noises; I had horrendous nightmares – very vivid nightmares replaying the things I’d seen. I had a very short temper, I cried a lot, I wasn’t interested in food – I was a complete and utter mess. When it came to dealing with the abuse at the hands of my Father, I think it was slightly different because there was more time perspective there, so it was more sadness, I think, and a lot of anger that I needed to deal with and try and sort my relationships out. When it came to the last lot of therapy I had, around working in war zones, that was from a different point of view, because I wasn’t someone to whom it was being done, I was a witness. I reacted similarly to the beginning, where loud noises were stressful, but it was more about not being able to save people, or to help people sufficiently. I think that you need to know there is often more than one trauma underlying someone’s condition. They may present with something – I did the same by presenting with post traumatic stress disorder as a result of anti-apartheid activities, but I did not disclose abuse at the hands of my Father the first time around, so you may need to dig a little bit to see what there is. You may be bringing up a trauma that is in the front of your mind but isn’t 17 | Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System

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