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STATE GOVERNMENT MEDIA RELEASE

Thursday, 26 May, 2016

MORE SUPPORT FOR FIREFIGHTERS EXPERIENCING PTSD

The Andrews Labor Government is supporting firefighters suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with a new pilot program for one-on-one support services.

Minister for Emergency Services Jane Garrett unveiled the plans for the program, which gives firefighters another option to seek help for PTSD. The program will also help to identify some of the barriers that may be preventing firefighters from using existing support services.

Firefighters are often first on scene at emergencies and can be exposed to horrific scenes including fatal fires, accidents and incidents.

The pilot, through the world-renowned Austin Health Psychological Trauma Recovery Service, will help to diagnose PTSD in affected firefighters and provide direct, confidential access to services to help in their recovery.

In line with the election commitment, the Government has invested $200,000 over two years for the program, which allows for approximately 60 participants in the pilot.

CFA or MFB members experiencing PTSD who take part in the trial will also have access to the health, wellbeing and workplace safety services already available through their agencies.

Firefighters will be assessed for PTSD through the Austin’s Psychological Trauma Recovery Service’s clinical intake process and, if appropriate, will have access to a treatment program of 12 one-on-one sessions, with the option to extend for a further six or twelve sessions based on client need.

Further information about the program and details on how firefighters can take part will be distributed to all firefighters through the relevant agencies. The program is due to start in the second half of the year.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Services Jane Garrett
“This important pilot will give our firefighters additional support for PTSD while also helping us to understand the barriers to firefighters seeking treatment.”
“I encourage MFB and CFA firefighters experiencing trauma to consider participating in the pilot program, or use the existing support services provided by the agencies.”
“Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a serious condition and we want make sure firefighters get the support they need.”

Published in Other News
Monday, 01 July 2013 14:20

24/7 CFA member assistance program

The CFA member assistance program is now available 24 hours a day and has a new phone number – 1300 795 711.

The program has been upgraded to provide a more tailored service for CFA members and their immediate families.

Closer links with other CFA support services such as peer and chaplaincy support and compensation programs, as well as short-term counselling support across the state, will make it easier for members to access the support they need.

Around 100 counselling sessions are taken up each year by CFA members and their immediate families about a range of issues including relationships, parenting advice, depression, anxiety, addiction and trauma.

Information cards will be distributed through regional offices, peer support coordinators and sent with the spring edition of Brigade magazine to promote the new 1300 795 711 number.

Contact the organisational wellbeing team on 9262 8836 for further information about the program or other wellbeing initiatives.

See https://news.cfa.vic.gov.au/news/new-member-assistance-program.html for some useful links on CFA welfare for members.

Published in CFA News
CFA Volunteers are the unpaid professionals of our Emergency Services. VFBV is their united voice, and speaks on behalf of Victoria's 60,000 CFA Volunteers.

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