TRiM: an organizational response to traumatic events in Cumbria Constabulary

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BackgroundA major incident involving multiple fatalities occurred in Cumbria, England on 2 June 2010. The Cumbrian Constabulary deployed an organizational peer support response for personnel involved known as trauma risk management (TRiM).AimsTo examine data routinely gathered during the TRiM process to evaluate the relationship of the intervention to sickness absence.MethodsUsing incident databases, details were gathered regarding exposure to the murders and type of TRiM intervention, including an assessment of the psychological risk to the individual of developing a trauma-related mental health problem. Sociodemographic information was collated by the occupational health department. Cumulative sickness absence data in the 2 months following the murders were used as a proxy for mental health status.ResultsA total of 717 police officers and civilian support staff were identified. High levels of traumatic exposure were associated with subsequent receipt of a TRiM intervention. The majority of psychological risk indices reduced between the initial and subsequent evaluation. Greater traumatic exposure was associated with longer sickness absence lengths. Engagement in the TRiM process was associated with a reduction in sickness absence especially in more junior ranks.ConclusionsIn this study, we found that TRiM deployed within a police force responding to a major event offered a way of structuring a response for those involved. Our data suggest that TRiM may offer a way of assessing psychological risk so that officers can be offered early supportive interventions. Our data suggest that TRiM may help to ameliorate some of the negative effects of high trauma exposure.

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