Cookie Preference Centre

Your Privacy
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Performance Cookies
Functional Cookies
Targeting Cookies

Your Privacy

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences, your device or used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually identify you directly, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. You can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, you should know that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site may not work then.

Cookies used

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources, so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies, we will not know when you have visited our site.

Cookies used

Google Analytics

Functional Cookies

These cookies allow the provision of enhance functionality and personalization, such as videos and live chats. They may be set by us or by third party providers whose services we have added to our pages. If you do not allow these cookies, then some or all of these functionalities may not function properly.

Cookies used




Targeting Cookies

These cookies are set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant ads on other sites. They work by uniquely identifying your browser and device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will not experience our targeted advertising across different websites.

Cookies used


This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyse your use of our products and services, assist with our promotional and marketing efforts, and provide content from third parties


Here are some suggested Connections for you! - Log in to start networking.

News : Study: 112 Call Centre Workers' PTSD Often Undiagnosed


Helsinki, Finland, Dec 16, 2019 -- Operators at Finland's Emergency Response Centres (ERC, reached by dialling 112 in Finland) are prone to extreme mental strain as part of their work, but police resources are ineffective at diagnosing and treating their post-traumatic stress (PTSD).

The occupation's high psychological toll entered public discourse in December with the publication of researcher Susanna Sankala's sociology thesis, the first ever to study the wellbeing of Finland's ERC operators.

Sankala, who was an operator herself, said she was surprised when her interviewees opened up about their stress spontaneously, some breaking down in tears.

Juha Järvelin runs a national PTSD workshop unit for the police, which he started together with fellow organiser Pasi Härkönen. Järvelin said he is glad that the serious effects of the ERC workload are finally coming to light.

"It's really great that this grad school level paper has been able to raise this issue. It's very impressive indeed that this research has been conducted," Järvelin said.

Järvelin wrote about the efficacy of police occupational health services during crisis situations in his own dissertation in 2011. He said now that the problem has been recognised, police administrators can finally take steps to alleviate the pressure on ERC operators.

"I've met with call centre workers abroad who have PTSD. I've been waiting for someone to tackle the issue properly here in Finland, too."

Workshops help with trauma

PTSD is a condition that may arise from exceptionally menacing or catastrophic events that cause intense anxiety.

ECR operators do not directly see any corpses or guts on the job, nor the victims they speak with. However, they constantly hear the sounds of domestic violence, desperation and panic through the telephone.

Symptoms of PTSD include replaying memories of traumatic events, nightmares about then or even experiencing momentary but harrowing flashbacks.

"In my experience, PTSD isn't acknowledged within the police force. Or if someone does admit they're having trouble, our health care services don't know how to identify it as PTSD," Järvelin said.

The first PTSD workshops for police were organised in 2012. Seven investigators who work with crimes against children came to one of these sessions, and Järvelin said he remembers how staggering the amount of accumulated stress turned out to be.

"The ECR involves so many similar factors that it would be odd if the operators didn't show any signs of long-term stress or even full-blown PTSD," he said.
When the agony subsides

Call centre operators are essentially first responders, says Järvelin, who was a police officer for 32 years. He knows from experience that the quality of life of the officers, firefighters, medics and operators would increase dramatically if the stressors involved were identified, acknowledged and discussed.

"That way, there would be no need for the false professional facade that makes workers say 'I don't feel a thing'."

Some of the participants in the mental health workshops have PTSD themselves. They often report feeling awful without a clear reason, or they feel anger at home as well as at work. After just three full sessions they already felt much better, Järvelin said.

"When the agony subsides, they feel immense relief. They regain their joy of life."

He said he hopes that the current discussion will lead to real changes in the way ECR operators' jobs are understood by their employers and health care providers.

"If we could get a PTSD retreat organised, Finland would be number one in the world in dealing with the trauma that emergency operators face. But it means we need all ECR personnel to be on board with the plans," Järvelin said.

He emphasised that all operators and other first responders share the fact that they experience stress over things that no regular job entails. They face the dramatic trauma of life and death.

"And this is the crux, what we don't talk about. The old way of thinking is that this is just a job, if you can't hack it then you've failed somehow. That is hardly the case; we simply need better support systems to respond to the realities of the work they do," Järvelin said.


Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent

Today's Tip of the Day - Have Some Fun

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Printer Friendly Version Printer friendly version

2023 Buyers Guide Certification


Contact center quality assurance training and certification

About us - in 60 seconds!

Submit Event

Upcoming Events

Europe's leading call & contact center event is now arriving at the U.S., showcasing the latest and most effective technologies, strategies and advancements to industry professionals who are looking to excel in the customer engagement world!

Disco... Read More...

Newsletter Registration

Please check to agree to be placed on the eNewsletter mailing list.

Latest Americas Newsletter
both ids empty
session userid =
session UserTempID =
session adminlevel =
session blnTempHelpChatShow =
session cookie set = True
session page-view-total = 1
session page-view-total = 1
applicaiton blnAwardsClosed =
session blnCompletedAwardInterestPopup =
session blnCheckNewsletterInterestPopup =
session blnCompletedNewsletterInterestPopup =