I remember being called out to a suicide-homicide as one of my first calls as a Chaplain. As I started assisting, I went to a lady who had just lost two family members. After a few minutes of trying to assist, she asked me to leave her, saying ” you are acting like a police officer!”
Wow, I was stunned! I realized I knew very little about the effect of trauma on people and set out to understand this complex field of trauma support. Over the years, as I have gone out to scenes, trained others to assist and gone through my own challenges of dealing with the “demons” of PTSD and trauma, I have noted how South Africa needs more people who are passionate and understanding about this field coming together for the common good of all South Africans.
Hence, Trauma Support SA is a vehicle to network with like minded individuals and organizations who want to provide a service of trauma support to victims suffering from traumatic stress. Most importantly though, TSSA exists as an online presence to EDUCATE, EQUIP & EMPOWER others to assist survivors.
“Imagine, a victim being assisted by a well trained volunteer at a police station and then referred to a reputable healthcare professional.”
“Imagine police officers educated about the effects of their work and then being willing to ask for help.”
“Imagine….a country recognizing that many of the problems they face are not only poverty and a lack of service delivery, but the effects of cumulative trauma from the past twenty five years.”
I believe that with the right combination of people who are passionate, dedicated and well trained we can begin to acheive this, but only if we start somewhere.
So I’m starting….wont you join me in helping to make this vision a reality?
About Philip Stoneman
Philip Stoneman was previously the Founding Director of the iThemba Rape and Trauma Support Centre. Philip has been a trainer for the South African Institute for Traumatic Stress (SAITS) since 2008 and has facilitated a number of workshops for SAITS for the Gauteng Department of Health and Department of Community Safety.
A motivated, personable business professional with a successful 10-year track record in the field of traumatic stress and trauma support, he has facilitated training in the field of victim empowerment, traumatic stress and trauma support/crisis intervention with various stakeholders such as SAITS, SAP and other community organisations.
Flexible and versatile – able to maintain a sense of humor under pressure. Poised and competent with demonstrated ability to easily transcend cultural differences. Excellent team-building skills, and a quick learner. The listening skills developed in trauma support and working with the emergency services has provided Philip Stoneman with a unique skills set that allows him the opportunity to assist and facilitate each coaching client in developing their life plan.