Many people will experience or witness at least one traumatic event in their life, for example, serious injury, violent interactions, natural disasters or other life-threatening situations. We may also be close to others who experience a traumatic event, and require our support.

In the days and weeks following, most people involved experience strong feelings which can include helplessness, shock, fear, sadness, numbness, guilt and anger. These experiences may also change previously held beliefs and core values about one’s self. A survivor may feel they have lost a sense of meaning and purpose, experience feelings of abandonment, and a loss of trust in their personal security, community and environment.

Most people exposed to a traumatic event recover with the support of family and close friends, and do not require professional assistance. Survivors move through the recovery process in their own individual ways. Their age, coping stratagies, previous life experiences and the availability of culturally appropriate support and understanding all play a role as they try to make sense of what has happened to them. One can also benefit from seeking support from professional services such as Counselling and Psychological Services.

External links and resources

  1. Natural disaster
  2. Road Trauma
  3. Victims of Crime
  4. Sexual assault
  5. Phoenix Australia – Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health