Up to 11 per cent of serving gardaí may meet the clinical criteria for a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder, while one quarter are showing symptoms of trauma at levels that are “a cause of concern”.
That is according to a study from Trinity College Dublin psychologists Dr Sean O’Meara and Dr Tim Trimble, which will be presented at the Psychological Society of Ireland annual conference in Wexford on Thursday.
The study, The Impact of Traumatic Experience in Operational Gardaí, surveyed 200 active members of An Garda Síochána who identified the top five traumatic stressors in their lives.
These included being called to the scene of a sudden violent or accidental death, witnessing or being the victim of a serious physical assault and being called out to, or being involved in, a transportation incident.
Young people who engage in deliberate self-harm have encountered social media websites that promote and normalise their behaviour, and find themselves tracked by similar websites encouraging them to click and view.
Barbara Hannigan, a counselling psychologist based at Trinity College Dublin (TCD), said the algorithms that track our retail behaviour and prompt pop-up ads act in the same way when it comes to self-harm.