By Jen Fookes
Incidents of behaviour that challenge can often leave staff feeling emotional, shocked, stressed and traumatised.
Debriefing systems for the individual and for support staff after an incident can be a valuable process. Offering support, understanding the behaviour and identifying needs. From lessons learnt support interventions and training to increase skills can be put in place to reduce or avoid future episodes. Supporting the wellbeing of staff means less sick leave, burnout and lower staff turnover. And a happier and more confident staff team.
But spare a thought for the families. They possibly will have had years and years of such behaviour. With no support or training. This can have a significant emotional impact of their mental wellbeing and quality of life. Leaving families feeling vulnerable, isolated and worn down.
As a mother I have been attacked numerous times, knocked out and bones broken. I’ve witnessed my sons potentially life threatening self-injury, unable to do anything for years. Long term stress and anxiety was just a way of life for me, developing my own ways of dealing with it. Alongside this I had to fight to get the appropriate services he deserved.
Recently my son’s new provider offered me my first ever debriefing session. This helped me to destress after an incident. Helped me to organise my thoughts of how I could avoid the incident happening again. But ultimately, I felt – supported and respected as a parent. I was a valuable part of a team, working together to give my son consistency and the support he needs.