Identifying and responding to trauma

Training for frontline service staff.

More than 5,000 workers will be trained in how to recognise and deal with psychological trauma.

The Trauma Training Plan is the first of its kind in the UK and helps organisations ensure their staff have the skills and knowledge they need to support those who have been affected by traumatic experiences. 

Police, social workers and nurses are among the staff to benefit from the plan which will be rolled out to all frontline workers.

Cabinet Secretary for Health 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.”  

Dr Sandra Ferguson, National Coordinator of the Trauma Training Programme at NHS Education for Scotland said:

"There is a national recognition that traumatic experiences are more common than we realise. It is important to acknowledge that trauma is everybody’s business and that we all have an important part to play.

"Scotland was the first country to develop a Knowledge and Skills Framework for Psychological Trauma, and a lot of remarkable work is underway to improve how we all respond to the needs of people affected by traumatic experiences.

"The  Trauma Training Plan, developed by NES, 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 Scottish Psychological Trauma Training plan was developed by NHS Education for Scotland (NES).

The Scottish Government’s £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, such as physical or sexual abuse. The programme aims to reach over 5,000 people across the Scottish workforce.

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.

Back to top