familiesintrauma

Relief, Belief and Understanding


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Suicide video at “Choose Life” Conference

I was recently asked to speak for 10 minutes at the “Choose Life” conference held in Kirkcaldy.  I was very humbled by many of the speakers and the work they are continuing to do, day in, day out!  It really is amazing to see individuals turn their trauma into something that helps other people.  And it is not done with ease – it is done often through a lot of pain and suffering.  But, it often get right to the heart of matters because it is coming from a place of experience.  Many of the organizations provide support at the most crucial moments in a person’s life – so is invaluable!!

We used the video on “Suicide of a Family Member”  and it certainly held the audience in suspense as they listened to 5 minutes of painful raw emotions, but also a message of courage from Jackie Easton of Curly Star Dream Foundation .  She has used the trauma of losing her daughter to set up a service which supports other families facing suicide of a family member.

This photo was taken at the conference while the video was being shown.

Curly Star Presentation film copy

 

For many people suicide is a word they don’t even want to utter, but it is a sad fact of daily life.  Statistics show there were 6,581 suicides in the Uk and Republic of Ireland in 2014 showing that many families and friends will be affected.  Even if you feel this is not something you have had to deal with, please share the information about the video whenever you can – because you might not even know which one of your friends or family who may need it.

 

http://www.famiiesintrauma.co.uk


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Gearing Up for our Launch – April 18th!

Before I go into the launch of our first 3 videos in April, I thought I’d share with you a little of where I visited in December as I haven’t done that yet.  It was touch and go as to whether we could actually get there, due to one thing and another – but finally we did.  Steve, my husband, had always wanted to get some lessons from a real flamenco guitar  maestro and in December that’s exactly what we did!  The rest and relaxation were just what we needed – and it reminded us also that we are still individuals, and that even if we are going through difficult times, it is essential to try to recharge our batteries.   We visited Malaga and all the other little villages and towns along the Costa Del Sol.  My favourite part was the weather as it was 25 degrees C – no one could complain at that!  Here goes:

 

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Up in Mijas – seems to be a favourite haunt for many visitors.

 

 

 

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Many people come from all over the world to see the lights in Malaga – we can see why!

 

The weather in Marbella was very obliging.  Steve, myself and our sister in law, Tina.

The weather in Marbella was very obliging. Steve, myself and our sister in law, Tina.

 

And finally - Steve and I enjoying a boat trip.  Apparently we look like  70's rockers here :)

And finally – Steve and I enjoying a boat trip. Apparently we look like 70’s rockers here 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So that seems to be  the relaxation over for another few months as we gear up for the launch of the videos.  Just to refresh your memory the subjects of the 3 videos are:

“Suicide of a family Member”

“Stillbirth”

“Rare Genetic Disorders in children – Kabuki Syndrome”

As you can imagine, all families affected by any of the above go through very traumatic experiences trying to cope with the actual event, and the ensuing ripples that always surround these very painful situations.

The videos really highlight the ins and outs of these situations and could be extremely helpful to someone who is suffering – so please, please, please, share all information you can in the lead up to the launch and during the launch, as this is really a pilot project.  Hopefully we will get a good response from this, and it will convince funders to look favourably on the project and help us financially to be able to get out there and create many more and ultimately help families in a way that would never have been possible before social media.

We have a few really good high profile individuals who are keen to support families in Trauma, including Johnny Benjamin from the channel 4 documentary “Stranger on the Bridge” and the Twitter campaign “Find Mike” after a stranger stopped him from committing suicide on a bridge; Claire Baker MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife and also Margaret Hannah, Director of Public Health in Fife.

We have been able to get in a little help with the marketing of the  initial pilot from the social enterprise “Along Came Kirsty” who are based in Dundee and have been really excellent to work with so far.  I’ll keep you updated but was keen to use a local company that has the same type of social values as our own.

As we get closer to the launch – I will try to keep you informed as to what we are up to, but meantime – please share, share, and share again – and if you have any suggestions  on how to help us – by all means – get in touch !!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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A Very Warm Welcome to All Our New Members :)

Our logo

FACEBOOK ADVERTISING

After my very first Facebook Advertising campaign (and it was a very small campaign)  I was delighted to be able to have 65 new members sign up for the Facebook page – and hopefully you will all sign up for this blog too.  Families in Trauma is a  new social enterprise and we are aiming to record through video or audio – families who have undergone traumatic experiences – and in turn share these videos to help others on our website.

NEW PREMISESEast Neuk blog 008

We have fallen behind a few months due to believing that we were going to be moving premises – however, this has not materialised – and so – without boring you all with the details, I hope to be focusing more on my social media campaign and getting our videos on our website.

WEBSITE

If you do check the website you will see that there is a lot to still be done – but hopefully you will also join me along this path and share in the journey of establishing a site which can realistically have families or individuals talking about their ‘real’ experiences. I am more than happy to respond to any suggestions any of you may have.

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Most people who catch a glimpse of this site are drawn to the title – either because they or their family have  suffered serious trauma.  The consequences of this trauma can often be severe and when we start to look around for help – we find that, in reality,  there is not much out there! Although doctors and specialists try their best to fill our needs, there is often so much more required and that is exactly why Families in Trauma has been set up.  We need to go straight to the ‘horse’s mouth’ so to speak.

FUTURE PLANS

So we really are at the beginning of a journey together and I want to take you all along with me.  Having experienced a family trauma personally, I know, it is not something you will ever forget.   If you can’t talk  to anyone at the moment – then just follow along online or share this link for the blog or for the Facebook page with someone else if you feel it will help them. Please do everything you can to keep reading and sharing this information because you never know who it will help.

I used to wonder what is the ultimate aim of this new social enterprise , and finally realised, I don’t need to have huge goals or unachievable aspirations – if I can help just one person to get through one more day – then I have achieved a huge amount!!  We all know that a day in the life of a person suffering trauma can be endless – and you never know from the beginning of that day till the end of it – whether you will survive it – but if we can help individuals who are feeling like this to survive one more day, then we have achieved something of worth.  I do not feel this is too huge a goal to aim for and I hope you also will join me in this whenever you can.

Don’t worry if you are not feeling up to much at the moment – just keep reading and checking in – then when you feel more able – share what you can to help others.  It’s a great way to heal – one step at a time.


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Post Traumatic Stress

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Post Traumatic Stress

Post traumatic stress is a term which many trauma sufferers may identify with easily. Unfortunately it is also something that can creep up on us without even being fully aware of what is happening.

Shell shock and Battle Fatigue

Initially the term was associated with  the battlefield in other guises as “shell shock” and “battle fatigue” during the first and second world war.  However during the Vietnam war the term “post traumatic stress” came to the fore and many war veterans were diagnosed with the condition.

PTSD and Trauma

However, more recently the term PTSD can be used to describe the psychological conditions associated with any traumatic event.

Symptoms of PTSD

Some of the well known symptoms can be:

  • Panic attacks
  • Vivid flashbacks
  • Nightmares
  • very intense feelings when being reminded of the trauma
  • Avoidance of any reminders of trauma
  • Pain, sweating, nausea, feeling lightheaded
  • Being easily upset or angry
  • Lack of concentration
  • Self-destructive behaviours
  • Keeping constantly busy to avoid thinking
  • Angry and irritable
  • Feeling detached and emotionally numb
  • Feeling suicidal

Self-Help

It can be a very frightening experience for individuals with PTSD and often the sufferers can feel very isolated thinking that this is only happening to them.  There are various things which can help in time – but the biggest barrier to this can be impatience. The feelings are so frightening that an instant cure is sought, but sadly this approach is often very short lived.  So a more balanced, rounded approach can often last much longer and also help to make a person feel more confident once the strategies have been put in place.

  • Talk to someone close to you
  • Talk to people in similar situations
  • Give yourself time
  • Contact an organisation for support and educate yourself about PTSD
  • Contact your GP

Families in Trauma

I have found in the course of my work that many people suffer from PTSD and feel there will be no way through this – but eventually with time, patience and help – it can be possible.  Families in Trauma will also be interviewing people who have shared their experiences of PTSD and we hope that it will be a help for many people.  Please feel free to share this blog with others who may need it or to anyone who may want to share their experiences and be interviewed either through video or audio.