Quint Studer to discuss stress and trauma on July 26
Between a global pandemic, widespread social upheaval and deep political divisions, the past year has been stressful for many Americans.
In fact, for many it was downright traumatic.
“Although stress upsets our balance in the moment, we can overcome it and move on with our lives,” said Quint Studer, founder of the Studer Community Institute and a nationally recognized voice in the healthcare industry. “The trauma puts us in survival mode. It makes us feel that our life, or at least our livelihood, is threatened, and it changes the way we see the world.”
In a presentation at CivicCon on July 26 at the REX Theater in Pensacola, Studer will discuss the difference between stress and trauma, and share tools to help measure the well-being of individuals and organizations.
Founder of the Studer Community Institute and co-founder of CivicCon, Studer is a consultant, entrepreneur and philanthropist who has devoted much of his life to learning and teaching how to become a better leader.
“For years, I have shared that a skill that every leader needs is the ability to drive change,” Studer wrote on his blog at the end of last year. “Today, I believe that every leader needs training to deal with individual stress as well as individual and organizational trauma. It is vital to the health of the individual, business and community that the trauma is identified and action taken If left untreated and treated, trauma can be extremely harmful to everyone.
Studer has spent the past year leading discussions about stress and trauma in communities across the country.
He noted that one of the main differences between stress and trauma is that stress tends to be a temporary reaction. With stress, a person usually understands that the change in disruption, or the challenge or pressure they are currently under, will eventually go away.
With trauma, there is an underlying doubt that things will ever get better, or a belief that even if things get better, they can also go wrong again.
The American Psychological Association describes some long-term reactions to trauma as unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships, and even physical symptoms such as headaches or nausea.
“Most of us view the trauma as a one-time horrific event, but it can also happen gradually, like the frog in the pot of water slowly reaching boiling point,” Studer noted. “One day we find ourselves in a very different world than it was before, and we ask ourselves, ‘Are we going to make it?'”
Studer noted that it doesn’t take something as dramatic as a pandemic to inflict trauma, especially in a workplace.
“Usually we move on to trauma when communication and trust have broken down,” he wrote. “People feel overworked and underestimated. They can feel hopeless and sometimes helpless. They can even behave in aggressive, self-defeating, or other unusual ways. People can even split into factions and the organization can become polarized. ”
Studer noted that in a traumatized organization, things do not improve on their own. It takes intentional effort to recognize and deal with trauma, a process that begins with “naming” the trauma, or recognizing it for what it is.
During the pandemic, Studer helped organizations survey their employees about their mental health. In an interview with the News Journal, Studer said that on a scale of 10, with 1 being very happy and 10 being on the verge of a nervous breakdown, 60% of employees rated themselves as 7 on the scale.
Studer noted that the mantra of American culture is to “be resilient” and “keep going, no matter what”, even when it is to our detriment.
“People are afraid of getting help because they will be tagged,” Studer said. “I hope what we can accomplish is break down the stigma surrounding mental health.”
He said that in some organizations, management is starting to ask employees to rate their own level of stress and trauma in order to better understand the needs of their workforce.
“The good news is that the companies that are opening the conversation and using this tool are already on the mend,” he wrote. “Asking the question is the first step.”
He said that from there, there are a variety of tools that people and organizations can use to train resilience training, from individual diagnostic tools to rapid response teams that identify and treat the signs. trauma early on.
“There are things we need to know and actions we can take about what happens after we have suffered a trauma,” Studer said. “This session is a chance to learn some of those steps. And to help you recognize when trauma is in your life and help is needed.”
Studer will be speaking live at REX, 18 N. Palafox St., from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on July 26.
CivicCon is a joint program of the News Journal and the Studer Community Institute to make Pensacola a better place to live, grow, work and invest through civic conversations and smart planning.
To learn more about CivicCon, visit pnj.com/civiccon.
Kevin Robinson was previously a reporter for the Pensacola News Journal. He is now a Content Coach at Northwest Florida Daily News and a member of the CivicCon Board of Directors. Kevin can be reached at [email protected] or 850-435-8527.