Colm’s Blog – Keeping things PIE in challenging times

As we move into April and a new month in lockdown, I am aware of the growing challenges of social distancing and self-isolation. For many of our Service Users, isolation and social distancing have been aspects of their lives that have made things harder, but now are part of what is needed to keep them safe and well.

For us as workers, the challenges have increased enormously. Whether it’s being able to get to work or having to work from home, we are all having to find new ways to do what were never easy or straightforward tasks in the first place.

So how do we maintain the principles of psychologically informed environments in a time that seems to be the exact opposite of what we want to create?

Our colleagues at PIElink, the national association for developing all things PIE, have suggested 3 tips for taking a trauma informed approach to the COVID 19 pandemic;

1. Acknowledge that it is a traumatic event that is a threat to our physical and psychological safety and wellbeing that will affect the most vulnerable people in our society disproportionately, so we need to look at it through a trauma informed lens,

2. Accept that we all respond to traumatic experiences in different ways and there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way for any of us,

3. Reach out to each other and our Service Users in as many ways as we can that are safe, as evidence shows that the stronger our social networks, the more resilient and better able to deal with trauma we become.

To find out more and see the video by Dr. Ray Middleton, a leading figure in the world of PIE, go to and follow the link to ‘latest news’.

I am also finding that practicing mindfulness is very helpful, from my early morning walk for my daily exercise to following the ‘100 Days of Mindfulness’ journal that has proved to be the most useful and appropriate Christmas present I received last year.

Active Coping Calendar | Download

Have a look at the Active Coping Calendar for produced by Action for Happiness – it might be useful tool for you and Service Users. Their website at also has a wealth advice and support our health and wellbeing and creating virtual social networks.

If you have any advice or good experiences you want to share, please do send to Greg or me. And if any of you or your Service Users would like to share your experiences or tips about how to live better in this difficult time in a blog, please let us know.

Stay safe and well and if you or anyone close to you is suffering with the virus at the moment, our thoughts are with you and we wish you better soon.

Deputy Director, Innovation and Impact

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