Highlands and Islands MSP calls for trauma training for the public sector

SNP MSP Emma Roddick has called on her party to do more to ensure that public sector workers are trauma-informed, telling them that witnesses to the Social Justice and Social Security Committee have reported being re-traumatised or frightened to engage with services due to difficult experiences.

She said:

“A message that’s come through loud and clear during our committee’s inquiry into low income and debt is that many people who have suffered trauma are being made to feel they can’t get the help they need to manage their finances due to the people administering them not being equipped to understand their situation and what it is appropriate to say and ask.

“It’s vital that public sector workers are given the training necessary to be able to identify when someone may struggle to engage in the way they are expected to, and know how to approach difficult issues sensitively.

“Some of the stories we have heard have been harrowing, and while commitments to ensure that those working in debt services are trauma-informed is welcome, all services being delivered by council and other public sector staff must have an appreciation of the difficulties that come with trauma in order to be accessible to the public.”