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A senior delegation from the Abu Dhabi emergency services recently visited Ulster University to discuss co-operation in the areas of emergency trauma and building resilience for staff working in emergency settings, major incident and search and rescue.

The delegation undertook a dedicated month long postgraduate programme organised by the School of Psychology within the Faculty of Life and Health Sciences and covered areas of common interest including the recruitment and selection of emergency staff, mental health and trauma psychology. It also built capability for paramedics and emergency and major incident team members who work in search and rescue, as well as in rapid response unit, in the UAE capital.

Mutual areas of concern such as stress, stress management, coping with and the prevention of PTSD and secondary traumatisation of victims and survivors of major incidents were covered within the programme, alongside other subjects including communication in disasters, course design, delivery and the evaluation of trauma psychology.

The delegates were delighted with the programme and benefitted greatly from the expertise and knowledge of our professionals. The programme provided them with valuable skills required to address and deal with trauma and stress, which will have a tangible impact on their working practices.

Staff from across the University contributed to the design and delivery of this tailored programme, which consisted of a ‘training the trainers’ programme, focusing on Trauma Psychology, PTSD and Secondary Traumatisation to address the professional needs of the Abu Dhabi emergency services personnel.