RTSWA Counsellors head to Mount Barker

Injury Matters | November 10, 2017

Road Trauma Support WA specialist counsellors, Susan Medica and Gary Hurst were in Mount Barker this week to deliver a specialised workshop to emergency services personnel stationed in the Great Southern Region.

They delivered a ‘Working with grief, trauma and loss workshop’ to both paid and volunteer front line staff from WA Police, St John Ambulance and Department of Fire and Emergency Services.

The workshop has been specifically designed to help those who are often first on the scene to traumatic and confronting events, to respond and communicate appropriately to those impacted by grief and trauma and to develop their own self-care strategies to prevent burn out and other conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The workshop was well attended by those from Mount Barker and surrounding regions and included interactive sessions that allowed for the sharing of knowledge and experiences across the different services and allowed them to develop their own self-care strategies and plans.

The workshop complements the existing health and support services that are available internally to emergency services and is designed as an extra outlet for support and information when required.

Research has shown that first responders are more prone to stress, depression, PTSD and other mental health disorders due to the nature of the work they do, the long hours, the shift work and the regular exposure to traumatic and confronting events.

One senior officer remarked upon arriving at the workshop, that he really wasn’t into all that “touchy, feely stuff”, however by the end of the day-long session, he had contributed a huge amount to the discussion and was very positive about its impact and practical nature.

These specially designed workshops are run both in metropolitan and regional WA and are open to both paid and voluntary emergency service workers.

For more information please contact Road Trauma Support WA on (08) 9420 7262 or via email on admin@rtswa.org.au.