PNG Workers Mentally Resilient -- Psychologist

By: PNG Business News August 21, 2023

Workplace Counsellor Alice Nathan on the Job

Papua New Guinea workers cope better with the psychological impact of workplace accidents and incidents because they have been more widely exposed to aggression and trauma in the community since a young age, says a workplace psychologist.

PNG Counselling and Care director Aaron Hayes says that the incidence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in PNG employees after exposure to traumatic experiences in the work environment seems remarkably low compared to other societies.

“In 20 years of providing counselling support to employees all over Papua New Guinea we have diagnosed only a few cases of full-blown PTSD. Most PNG workers impacted by accidents and incidents bounce back well in mental health terms after receiving psychological first aid, critical incident debriefing and a short course of trauma counselling support. After this, long term psychotherapy for traumatic stress symptoms is rarely needed,” Mr Hayes says.

While in some cases exposure to multiple traumatic experiences over the years does cause accumulated stress, Mr Hayes says the opposite appears to be widely true in PNG – people seem to become hardened or desensitised to violence and trauma in the community over the years and workers are less impacted psychologically by an accident or incident in the workplace especially if provided with basic psychological support at the time.

“A little support immediately after a harrowing experience seems to avert long term effects,” said Mr Hayes.

Over the years, his counsellors have provided critical incident support following employee deaths, motor vehicle and machinery accidents, plane crashes, workplace hold-ups, carjackings, kidnappings and home invasions.

Related Articles

Recent Articles

See Our Latest Issue

See Our Latest Issue

See Our Latest Issue

See Our Latest Issue