Good mental health costs less than we think and is always better than trying to patch up a deteriorating situation. Prevention is always better than a cure and our Trauma Preparedness Training is a psycho-educational programme to help people in critical roles like prison officers, understand what can happen psychologically, physiologically and neurologically when they experience potentially traumatic circumstances. They are then empowered to respond adaptively, initiate self-recovery and know when to seek professional support.
In 2019 we began working within a secure setting for young offenders to train staff in resilience and trauma preparedness. An effective skills-based training programme was needed to mitigate the pressures in terms of the daily demands made on staff, which would also impact positively on staff retention and reduce sickness.
A review was carried from 2019 to February 2021 with outcomes set against those staff not trained through our programme. The results identified the following:
- Petros trained staff were significantly less likely to get assaulted, despite increased involvement in challenging incidents.
- Fewer sick days were taken by Petros trained staff, with a direct correlation identified between the incidence of assaults and amount of sickness absence.
“ …it does appear that there is a correlation between the incidence of assaults and the sickness absence data.”
Resilience and Trauma Preparedness Training – Data Review, Feb. 2021
- A higher proportion of Petros trained staff were recognised for good performance, as opposed to those not attending the training programme.
- The impact of this is not only better outcomes for the staff and the young people in their care, but also a reduction in employer’s liability insurance claims and uninsured losses.
Further evaluation of staff over a longer period is underway to assess the impact on retention.
We continue to work in the secure setting to support their staff and managers, improving their lives and, subsequently, others they work with and have care over.