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At its core, the Responder Assist team's mission is to improve mental health outcomes for emergency workers in Victoria. The Specialist Network of Clinicians (SNC) was created to support this mission. Together with the Responder Assist clinic, the SNC forms a key strategic pillar that enables specialised mental health treatment for emergency workers. So what exactly is the SNC? Clinicians that are part of the SNC have specialised training and extensive experience in treating mental health issues in the emergency services sector. They engage in ongoing training and supervision to ensure that they are up to date with the latest developments in research and evidence-based trauma treatments for emergency workers.
Are you an emergency worker, or do you form part of an emergency worker’s support network? You can contact the Responder Assist clinic hotline service on 1800 329 191 Monday – Friday, 9 am – 5 pm. This confidential and independent service provides treatment by specialist clinicians trained in working with emergency services personnel who have experienced trauma. Accessing the service is straightforward, and those who need help can be referred by the health professional treating them, or an emergency worker can refer themselves. Read on to find out what to expect when you call the hotline.
Responder Assist provides an assessment and treatment service to ensure emergency workers can access care that is tailored to suit their needs. Alongside this, the Responder Assist service also provides training and support to mental health clinicians who treat emergency workers. Research is already underway to help ensure that the Responder Assist clinical service is continually improving and meeting the needs of emergency workers and the practitioners supporting them. Two new studies have been designed to gather insights from clinicians and emergency workers.
How can a computer game help prevent posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in Australian veterans? Phoenix Australia's research team, including one of the lead researchers Olivia Metcalf, has "reverse-engineered" a computer game used to prepare Israeli soldiers for combat, transforming the game's original function of "dialling up soldiers' alert levels" to do the opposite instead.
Phoenix Australia's national Rapid Exposure Supporting Trauma Recovery (RESTORE) trial, Australia’s largest-ever treatment trial of PTSD in miltary personnel and veterans, aimed to reduce the 10-week timeframe for prolonged exposure therapy, the current gold-standard PTSD treatment, down to two weeks of intensive daily therapy. The results were incredible.
The COVID-19 pandemic has tested us physically, socially, and psychologically, and having to rely on coping strategies and support networks has been overwhelming for many of us, and the strain has been particularly great for some of the most marginalised people in our community. Phoenix Australia is working with women from marginalised communities who want to help their communities recover, using the Skills for Life Adjustment and Resilience (SOLAR) program.
In honour of Anzac Day, we interviewed Phoenix Australia Ambassador Sharon Bown, who reflected on the significance of Anzac Day and the importance of Phoenix Australia’s work supporting the mental health of veterans struggling with mental health issues associated with trauma, such as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Read more.