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If the individual is reporting significant distress and/or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning

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If the individual reports a range of risk factor such as substance use, previous exposure to potentially traumatic events, anger, and financial and other stressors

Quick tips

Continue to actively monitor and be alert to mental health and wellbeing issues emerging and/or still being present in the community even 5 to 10 years after the disaster(s)

Use the stepped care approach to providing support, and build your skills and confidence in the evidence-informed interventions that are relevant to your role

Adopt a trauma-informed approach at an individual and organisational level to improve the experience of individuals who engage with your organisation and reduce “red tape” and their barriers to accessing support

Encourage the individual to participate in community activities that strengthen community networks, social support and cohesion. Encourage your organisation to promote, support or host a range of community activities to meet the diverse needs of the community

Move from single disaster focussed programs to long-term programs that can be easily accessed by community members regardless of the disaster experienced – a “no wrong door” for community

Do what is in your control to support worker wellbeing. It is a shared responsibility between individuals and their organisation

Do you know how to

  • Deliver role appropriate evidence-informed interventions? As a frontline worker this could include assisting with practical and basic emotional needs to reduce secondary stressors as part of delivering Psychological First Aid.
  • Safely contain an individual’s trauma disclosure when it is not appropriate for you to engage in conversation with them about it due to your role, level of privacy, context or time availability?
  • Relevant to role, monitor and assess for risk and protective factors such as substance use, previous exposure to potentially traumatic events, anger, and financial and other stressors?
  • Connect and seamlessly refer individuals to local supports or more specialised services such as mental health, family violence, housing or financial counselling?
  • Review program design to ensure that it utilises a trauma-informed approach to practice? For example, does it have clear eligibility criteria that is not single disaster specific; provides simple pathways for accessing the service; and minimises the number of times a community member may have to disclose their trauma history or provide the same information?
  • Implement evidence informed strategies to support your own wellbeing? And, if you’re in a leadership role, do you know how to implement organisational wide strategies to support workforce wellbeing?

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