Smartt thinking

Few would argue that we are living in stressful times, so it is appropriate to bring to your attention the services of a team that is focused on addressing the ‘Management not Medical’ aspects of Stress Management.

The Stress Management and Resilience Training Team (SMARTT), a team of one Warrant Officer and three Flight Sergeants formed in Jan 10 with the remit to improve stress awareness in the RAF. The team’s initial focus was to roll-out a Trauma Risk Management (TRiM) capability across the RAF.  TRiM is peer delivered, proactive human resource management tool for supporting individuals following exposure to potentially traumatic events. It’s purpose is the early identification of the signs and symptoms of stress; it is not itself a treatment for stress and over 18 months the team have trained in excess of 2000 personnel as Practitioners, Team Leaders and Instructors. While it is hoped that TRiM is a skill that never has to be used, it has been called upon for over 150 challenging incidents since the team formed, with the majority of incidents being UK based.

In addition to TRiM training, the SMARTT also deliver facilitated stress management briefs to all levels of Service management training, covering all phase 1 to 4 training. What is an emotive and contentious issue to discuss on a one-to-one basis can be even more challenging in a group forum. However, the Service realises that this is an issue that needs to be addressed and has mandated that stress briefs are delivered on all command and management courses including: Junior Officer Development Programme JOD(P) and Intermediate Command and Staff College (ICSC) at the Defence Academy Shrivenham; all courses at the Airman’s Command School (from JNCO’s to the Warrant Officer Study Period); NCO Aircrew Levels one and two management training; and Initial Officer Training at RAFC Cranwell.

At the time of writing, the SMARTT have given stress briefs to upwards of 10,000 Service personnel. The SMARTT have been leading the development of innovative presentations that have received endorsement from 22 (Trg) Gp and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Directors (CIPD) and continue to develop new products to deliver the message of stress awareness.

In addition to training, the SMARTT are also integrated in the operational assessments of JFAC led ‘War Weeks’ as well as delivering bespoke briefs and general advice.

If you have any questions about the team, and what they might be able to do for you, then you can contact them at RAF Halton on 95237 ext 6901, 6438 or 6882.