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HOW TO HELP PEOPLE AFFECTED BY CRIME AND TRAUMATIC EVENTS?

As the world expands, there are a lot of faces and colors that we get to see. We conveniently assume that everything is prosperous and flourishing, but that isn’t even close to reality. The truth is that where this growth has offered opportunity and joy, it also weaves a net of evil and despair. Many people get caught up in it and often left scarred for life due to the pain and suffering. However, not everyone can understand their misery and distress.

We can reason with the pain caused by a visible injury. Perhaps because it is something that is right before our eyes, but that’s no longer the only source of getting hurt or suffering. Damage inflicted upon your mental health is also gravely dangerous, as it renders you useless even when you are in good health. In the old days, people struggled with understanding how someone can afflict pain without any damage or injury. It was because mental health was not a discovered area nor as openly discussed as it is nowadays. Unfortunately, many people paid a hefty price of that ignorance.

Everyone is sensitive to what happens in their surroundings and life. Sometimes, it’s a toxic marriage of parents that leave a critical impression on the child’s mind. Or it could be some sort of abuse that they had to endure in the past. There’s also a chance that you were part of a hostage negotiation where you had to survive through difficult circumstances. Maybe you lost a loved one to an unnatural death due to a catastrophe or accident. Perhaps you were suffocated with your inhibitions and inclinations when everyone shunned you. All these are some of the more common cases brought to attention so that people can take heed. Besides them, any traumatic incident or crime could also inflict unprecedented damage to your mental health, and no one would notice what you are going through.

Luckily enough, many groups and individuals are trying to improve the situation by shaping it piece by piece. The biggest obstacle before them was to convince people about the existence of this phenomenon. Since it isn’t something tangible or out in the open, it was easy to bash the idea on any platform. But in time, they started admitting its existence, led by personal experiences and research. Social workers and healthcare specialists also encouraged patients and victims to share their feelings and thoughts if they were struggling with something internal. This promotion and realization helped many people to step into the light and comfortably tell their stories. Fortunately, people seek the help that they deserve.

Now it isn’t difficult for people to find psychiatric assistance or social support groups that help them overcome this situation. The introduction of forensic social work is equally significant to support this cause. That is because it helps local authorities and the legal systems discover people experiencing social injustices and trauma and share their burdens. They play an active social role in relieving people from their difficulties, like healthcare professionals or general social workers. These steps allow us to address and deal with these cases appropriately proactively.

If you are looking for some help yourself in this area, or you know someone who is suffering from it, here are some useful pointers that can deal with this situation better.

  1. Give them Some Room

If you discover that someone is struggling like this, the first thing that you want to do is rush in to help. However, you can’t provide care for people affected by trauma invasively. Otherwise, you might risk worsening their situation. The best way to deal with this situation is to give them time and space. Let them find the courage to discuss an issue with you instead of scratching a surface. Remember, they have to recollect and recall whatever happened to them as they share it with you. Try to treat them delicately instead of making them spill the beans.

  1. Try to be a Good Listener

The biggest mistake that people often make is that they try to propose solutions without even listening to the problem. What we need to acknowledge is that time might be the only means to recover from this situation. So instead of proposing ways to deal with it, you should try to listen to them carefully and empathize with their condition. Having a good pair of ears can help victims regain control of themselves and fight their problems.

  1. Try Building Trust & Emotional Connections

A patient suffering from issues of mental health often feels left out of sync with the world. It means that they can’t identify their emotions and connect with others using them. It’s cruel to imagine someone suffering from these problems, let alone witness them. However, you have to muster the courage to restore their internal compass. It might be hard, but try to make a person affected by trauma feel secure again. Act normal around them and include them in your daily activities as much as you can. Work towards trust-building and establishing emotional connections so that they can accept that there’s still hope for them in this world. That way, you might be able to penetrate their shells and invite them to live a regular life.

  1. Be Accommodating

It can be a challenge living around a person affected by trauma. You might experience severe mood swings and unreasonable spells of anger and depression. It could also be something due to what you say or do that hits the wrong nerve. All this calls for you to be patient, considerate, and accommodating while living with these victims. Try to ignore what they do or say, and accept some of their absurd requests to make them feel comfortable around you. Instead of cutting their lines and shunning their ideas, take a more silent approach, and show interest in what they have to say. That might drive them towards opening up to you and discussing their concerns.

Summary

These are some of the best ways using which you can help people affected by crime or traumatic incidents. While trying them, don’t forget to be patient, and remember, you are stepping into their shoes. And not the other way around. Don’t be judgmental, and instead of questioning them, be thoughtful. That should enable you to make them feel like a part of the regular world again.

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