Much of what we know and apply about psychological wellbeing at work is intuitive and common sense.
Unpicking our knowledge and expertise and sharing it with others, within a framework, can help us to understand how we can proactively create a safer environment for ourselves and others.
The first seminar of the network since it formed in January was attended by members from a variety of sectors including financial, childcare, health and safety, organisational development and one-to-one practitioners.
It was facilitated by Dr Jacqui Wilmshurst, a Member of the RAW Advisory Group, Resilience Specialist and Chartered Research Psychologist, who was previously a consultant to the BBC.
Jacqui’s early career was as an officer in the British Army, running training and development centres and serving operationally in Northern Ireland and Bosnia. After leaving the Army Jacqui retrained as a research psychologist, exploring psychological factors in risk management for natural hazards across cultures. Her career in disaster risk reduction took her to the US, Central and South America. She now works as a freelance consultant specialising in the psychology of risk and resilience.
Using stories from her time in the Army, working in communities affected by natural disasters and working for organisations including the BBC, Jacqui led the group through a framework to understand the risks in our own contexts.
She is exploring the question of how the experiences of those in conflict or disaster areas can be translated into everyday working environments.
With Jacqui we explored the range of potential hazards that can cause stress and how to better understand how these hazards can affect individuals.
We used the UPSaR tool to identify hazards, to assess the risks – be they sensory, physiological, emotional, cognitive, behavioural – and to see how we can mitigate them – either personally, socially, organisationally or professionally – in our own work contexts.
Working in small groups we shared our experience and knowledge with other members of the network, beginning the process of working out how we can help people build resilience and manage stress, both in and out of work.