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Practitioners supporting Victorian emergency service workers with mental health concerns can join a new Community of Practice.
In partnership with the Mental Health Practitioners’ Network (MHPN), Responder Assist is creating a new Community of Practice for practitioners working with emergency services workers across Victoria.
The first Community of Practice (CoP) event will be held online on Wednesday 6th April and will introduce attendees to Responder Assist’s advice panel. The panel includes psychiatrists, GPs, psychologists, clinical psychologists and mental health social workers who have extensive experience working with trauma and with emergency service workers.
There will also be an opportunity to discuss how future CoP meetings will be run and what topics of interest they might cover.
A Community of Practice brings together practitioners with shared interests, skills or areas of clinical practice. They can learn from each other, support each other, enhance their skills, present cases, and hear from experts,” says Vicki Smith, Senior Clinical Specialist for Responder Assist.
“Evidence shows that bringing practitioners together to talk improves quality of care for the people they are supporting. The more we learn from one another and reflect on our own practice, the better we become as practitioners—which means better outcomes for our clients.”
The Responder Assist CoP will feature experts discussing mental health concerns like trauma, anxiety, depression and PTSD, and there will also be opportunities to learn from emergency workers with lived experiences.
“Emergency services workers are a unique cohort with unique perspectives on the world. Most of us won’t come into contact with traumatic events as frequently as they do. They also have an organisational culture that is different and gives them a strong sense of identity,” says Vicki.
Vicki has been part of a number of CoPs including those for veterans, police members, and suicide prevention. “My own practice has improved by seeing things from other perspectives and through other disciplines. I think it’s also important for practitioners to meet because we listen to the detailed traumatic experiences of our clients and we need to be able to recalibrate, support one another, and protect ourselves to continue to serve our clients better.”
The first Responder Assist CoP in partnership with MHPN will be held on Wednesday 6th April at 6.30pm. Register here.