Stress and trauma – show care and concern for others

PUBLISHED: 12:30 13 March 2020

Exmouth Community Food Larder manager Anthony Bernard.

Exmouth Community Food Larder manager Anthony Bernard.


Guest columnist Anthony Bernard, of Exmouth Community Larder, asks us to listen to and show compassion for all those around us.

Traumatic stress occurs in many of our lives at some point; the recent suicide of a TV presenter dominated the news for several days.

How many other people suffered traumatic stress during that time?

Parents losing a child, homelessness, family separation or extreme circumstances faced by the emergency services, all throw us mentally off track and leave a permanent scar.

The foodbank sees many such instances, but many volunteers have experienced enough to understand the stress of others; many of us have been through traumatic stress ourselves and come through it.

It is easy to write 'overcome it', but more correct to say we have come to terms with it and pressed on despite the past.

So when the media focuses on what it sees as 'major events', we should give some thought for all the 'little stuff' which doesn't make the news - but which is equally devastating to those involved, if not more so.

Coronavirus is the big news item now - but how many more people have flu, which can also become serious for vulnerable patients.

The message is surely to listen and share concern for all those around us, in the locality, the shop check-out, in the street and all the events of our daily lives.

To share concern and caring (but not sneezes!!).

I saw a car sticker 'not all disabilities are visible'; this is actually true in a minor way for many of us.

We do not know what is going on with other people - the grumpy response may not be personal, but because the person has another problem.

The over-effusive greeting may simply cover an inner grief.

Self isolate with a virus, but otherwise interact positively with all those around, most of whom value a caring word and thought.

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