Self-support techniques after a traumatic incident

Published 26 Apr 2019
Written by
Police Care
National Police Wellbeing Service and Police Federation
Reading time
10 mins

Police Care UK (formerly The Police Dependents’ Trust) have worked in partnership with the Police Federation and Oscar Kilo to develop this guidance that you can use following a traumatic incident.

Policing is exciting, challenging, and often dangerous work. It involves adjusting to everyday exposure, to incidents and situations that for most people might only happen once in a lifetime. It is common to experience a series of challenging incidents, one after the other. Healthy processing of such incidents is essential in policing to reset the stress response, to file events as past, and to move on to the next job.

As the nature of crime changes, so do the different types of trauma exposure police might experience. It is well recognised that different types of trauma exposure call on us to adopt different coping strategies: to prepare ourselves for what we are about to experience, to manage our response to the experience, to make sense of what we experience, and to move on.

This guidance document offers tips and coping strategies which you may find helpful to carry out at certain points of time after the incident.