This week, for Mental Health Awareness Week 2019, we’re looking at some of the most common mental health conditions and asking how we can help – heart, mind, soul and strength.

It’s estimated that a third of adults experience a traumatic event – and traumatic events can be anything where you fear for your life. Some events which can trigger PTSD can be serious car accidents, giving birth or experiencing war or violence. People may experience flashbacks or panic attacks

Leading trauma psychiatrist Judith Herman writes:

“Trauma is not just an event that took place sometime in the past; it is also the imprint left by the experience on the mind, brain and body.”

Heart: One of the main parts of PTSD is hyper vigilance; sufferers may be jumpy or wary of others. Being a calm and gentle presence can enable you to be someone they feel ‘safe’ with.

Mind: Trauma can’t distinguish between the past and the present, consider helping to ground them by talking about things they can see, hear, smell, touch and taste in the present.

Soul: Trauma is a Holy Saturday experience; the worst has happened and it’s about learning to live in the wake of that time. Exploring what it means that Jesus experienced His own “day after” can be transformational.

Strength: Like anxiety, trauma has profoundly physical symptoms. Sense of smell is very related to memory, so using something like rescue remedy or essential oils can help to ground in the present.

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