The psychological shift that turns trauma into a tool for personal growth

Peter Burns, CEO, SALT

Post Traumatic Growth is taking the hard lessons learned when you go through a traumatic situation – such as the COVID-19 Pandemic – and using them as a springboard for personal growth. Sporting clubs, with the help of SALT, are ideally placed to not only help their members cope during this pandemic, but to also teach them how to grow and thrive post lockdown.

2020 has been a cataclysmic year for Australians.  From the bushfires that ravaged great swathes of our major states to sustained droughts to floods and now the hard-to-grasp fact that we are living through a deadly pandemic and all the personal damage that brings – from illness to fear to income loss, to denied contact with our families, our friends, our clubs, our tribes.

It is fair to say, particularly in Victoria which is in the midst of a “second wave”, that there are hundreds of thousands of people who are feeling overwhelmed by the challenges. But experts are reminding us that there is a phenomenon where people who live through some of the worst times can come through more resilient and more appreciative of life than they were before.  They’ve had a re-set on what’s really important and, can go on to lead richer, more satisfying lives. The secret is to help more people who have suffered trauma to take this rewarding road to post-PTS growth.

COVID-19 with the accompanying loneliness and self-isolation has caused significant challenges to the adaptive resources of individuals and as a result, not only has there been a manifestation of mental health issues, but also poor physical outcomes caused by the stress.  For instance, cardiovascular disease and stroke, impaired memory and learning ability, propensity to violence and sometimes dependence on drugs and alcohol.  The downside is significant and that’s why it’s important that people are given the tools to not only cope but to set themselves up for post-traumatic personal growth.

At SALT (Sport and Life Training) we have been running a series of Reconnect sessions with sporting clubs that directly aim to give people the practical tools and coping strategies that help them turn trauma into high levels of personal growth.

Following the Reconnect sessions, SALT will run club wellbeing and mental health sessions (either in person or online) where we explore attitudes and practices for growth along the mental health continuum. From this SALT will help clubs establish a Club Wellbeing Team and initiate our Club Wellbeing Membership program which aims to enhance a club’s ability to develop greater social cohesion and see the personal growth of individuals transfer into the growth of communities.

SALT’s Reconnect sessions are usually fully funded for sporting clubs thanks to our many partners.  For more information contact SALT at info@sportandlifetraining.com.au

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