Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health problems among police, paramedics and other emergency services personnel are much higher than the general population.
One of the most successful PTSD therapies now available is Prolonged Exposure (PE) therapy.
To enhance access to this gold-standard therapy for first responders and other injured workers, EML funded a training and consultation program in PE therapy for a select group of psychologists.
“A significant challenge in delivery of mental health services to emergency services personnel and others affected by PTSD is ensuring that individuals have access to the most effective treatments available” said Darryl Wade, Head of Practice Improvement and Innovation at Phoenix Australia – Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Melbourne.
The training program was delivered by Associate Professor Wade to 45 psychologists. It comprised a skills-based multi-day workshop followed by group telephone-based consultations over a six-month period.
Academic evaluation of the training (publication pending) confirmed that it improved practitioners’ confidence in using PE, addressed attitudinal barriers to using the therapy, and increased the uptake and delivery of PE therapy to clients who have PTSD.
A clinical psychologist who completed the training said “Much appreciated that EML had the foresight to offer such training. I have spent 25 years in the work cover system and to see initiatives such as this is pleasing to say the least.”
Associate Professor Wade is a strong advocate for increasing the adoption of evidence-based therapies to improve outcomes for emergency services personnel with PTSD. “These are well-tested therapies,” he said.
“If we are in the business of providing the most effective treatment and support to first responders with mental health issues, these therapies really need to be in the kit bag of all allied health practitioners providing services,” he said.
EML has been the trusted provider of personal injury claims management to several emergency service departments nationally and is committed to delivering the best possible outcomes for affected first responders.
In partnership with experts nationally, EML has supported and developed a range of videos, guides and articles on managing PTSD for both injured workers and clinicians. Access these resources at www.eml.com.au/ptsd or www.phoenixaustralia.org/high-risk-industries
 Safe Work Australia, Work-related mental disorders profile, https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/system/files/documents/1702/work-related-mental-disorders-profile.pdf accessed 28/3/19.