Crime Stoppers

NT Launch of ‘When Helping Hurts: PTSD in First Responders’ Report

Wednesday 04-Jul-2018 16:51

Today the Northern Territory Police Fire and Emergency Services (NTPFES) hosted the Northern Territory launch of the report, ‘When Helping Hurts: PTSD in First Responders’.

The report by think tank Australia21 and support service FearLess Outreach was written after a high-level roundtable with first responders.

Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services provided roundtable participants and funding as part of this, along with co-sponsors Victoria Police and the Australian Federal Police.

The report and its recommendations have been informed by the discussions and extensive research which included NTPFES staff.

The report explores how to prevent and manage traumatic stress, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, amongst first responders to help improve mental health outcomes.

Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner and CEO, Reece Kershaw, said the agency was already working to address a lot of the report’s recommendations.

“NTPFES has been recognised as a Gold Status Mental Health First Aid Skilled Workplace, but we’re not resting on our laurels,” Mr Kershaw said.

“We’re aware that we can always do more in this critical area to support the health and wellbeing of our people.”

The report was launched at the new NTPFES Multi-Use Facility located at the Peter McAulay Centre. This centre will provide a venue for the various training, support and wellbeing programs for members, employees and volunteers.

“This new centre will be an integral part of our network of services through social and practical support as well as encouraging professional help, complemented by other forms of support.

“If you were shot or burnt you’d seek treatment. Psychological injuries should be seen the same way,” Mr Kershaw said.

“What we see and do as first responders affects us, and we are all working to normalise seeking support.

“When it comes to the question of ‘who helps the helpers?’ the answer is ‘we do’. That’s what we’re seeing here today.”

Information about some of the support services offered by NTPFES are available on the website: http://www.pfes.nt.gov.au/Contact-us/NTPFES-Support-Services.aspx

A copy of the report can be found here: http://australia21.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/When-Helping-Hurts-PTSD-in-First-Responders-WEB.pdf