MORE than 5000 police, social workers and nurses are to be trained to help those affected by psychological trauma.

The nationwide programme will be directed at frontline workers and based on work carried by NHS Education for Scotland (NES).

The move – a UK first – aims to improve support for people who have undergone abuse, neglect and other types of trauma.

Programme co-ordinator Dr Sandra Ferguson said: “Scotland was the first country to develop a Knowledge and Skills Framework for Psychological Trauma, and a lot of remarkable work is under way to improve how we all respond to the needs of people affected by traumatic experiences.

“The Trauma Training Plan will support services locally and nationally to develop and sustain a workforce that is able to respond to anyone affected by psychological trauma.

“It also offers key principles that will help all organisations, no matter how big or small, to support their workforce to put trauma training into practice.”

The £1.35 million National Trauma Training Programme was established last year and was developed for workers supporting children and adults who have experienced trauma and adversity, including both physical and sexual abuse.

The training plan is in addition to the £138,000 of funding for the Lifelines Scotland initiative which looks to provide frontline emergency workers with access to tailored mental health resources.

READ MORE: Scottish Government backs trauma training scheme for frontline workers

The charity Barnardo’s, which works with children, young people and families, welcomed the move.

It says access to “emotionally available and responsive adults” can help the mental health of minors “flourish”.

Laura Falconer, assistant director of impact for mental health and wellbeing at the organisation, said: “The Scottish Government has made a strong and welcome commitment on this issue and this plan is the next important step towards ensuring we have a trauma-informed workforce able to recognise, respond to, and support children, young people and their families who have experienced trauma.

“This is the kind of transformational change which takes time, resource and investment and we welcome reference in the plan to the importance of leadership and the role government and leaders must play in communicating this vision, and providing support to translate this vision into reality.

Traumatic experiences have been linked not only to poor mental health, but also to offending, addiction and other health and social issues.

The SNP’s 2018-19 programme for government committed to investing an additional £250m in mental health over a period of five years.

Commenting on the new training initiative, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “Abuse, neglect and other traumatic experiences, especially in childhood, can have a devastating and long-lasting impact upon people’s lives.

“Living through a traumatic event is more common than previously recognised, and these experiences can result in inequalities in physical and mental health, employment prospects and access to services.

“We want to see all frontline services across Scotland become more informed and responsive to trauma, and our training plan looks to equip workers with the necessary training to support people affected by trauma to recover.

“I want to encourage employers to read our plan and think about how they can use it to support the development of staff knowledge and skills within their organisations.”