Secondary Trauma is the name given to the Anger, Bitterness and Resentment that arises when people feel that they haven’t been properly looked after following a traumatic experience. Run the video to the right or click here to view our video explaining Secondary Trauma.
For most organisations the prevention and management of Secondary Trauma should be the first and most important consideration in their Incident Management Plan.
Failing to manage Secondary Trauma can be very damaging. High levels of anger and bitterness will motivate and energise efforts to damage an organisation financially or smear its reputation. Secondary Trauma motivates victims to want to tell the world how – in their opinion – you failed them.
If you get it right you can create Product Champions. These are people who feel so good about your organisation and its actions that they want to tell the world how good you were. You can help to create Product Champions by looking after anyone who might be traumatised …
- promptly (without wasting time)
- and proactively (without them having to ask for the support they need)
- and in a personal manner that avoids people feeling as if they are just one in a crowd
If you fail to acknowledge and tackle Secondary Trauma you risk losing goodwill that can never be fully regained and you may create Venomous Litigants. These are people who feel bitter and vengeful towards the organisation that they feel let them down; whether it be their employer, or their relative’s employer, or an organisation that they bought a product or service from.
The key to minimising Secondary Trauma is to understand and Plan to reduce unnecessary Psychological Distress following any incident affecting people who will look to your organisation for a response.