As part of the Federal Government Mental Health Supports for Bushfire Affected Australians, and the Victorian Government Mental Health and Wellbeing Bushfire Recovery packages, Phoenix Australia has been engaged to undertake a training needs analysis and to deliver training programs to aid frontline workers in order to better support community members affected by the 2019-2020 bushfires across Australia.


These projects aim to work with frontline workers (including community leaders, emergency services and general practice staff and healthcare workers) to enhance their ability to:

  • support community members’ recovery from the bushfires
  • promote their own resilience and psychological recovery from the bushfires
  • support the resilience and wellbeing of their teams and organisations.


Can I participate in the training needs analysis?

Are you working with bushfire-impacted communities in East Gippsland or North East Victoria?


Phoenix Australia has been engaged to conduct a training needs analysis to identify the trauma-related knowledge and skills of workers, and to design and deliver training and mentoring to build the capacity of trauma-related work in Eastern Victoria.


Participation is voluntary, however as a result of your participation, you or your organisation could be offered access to funded training under this project.


To participate in the training needs analysis, you can complete the online survey using this link.


Can I participate in the training, and what packages are available?


A number of evidence-informed training packages have been funded by the Federal Department of Health and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and can be delivered at no cost to a limited number of eligible frontline workers who work with communities impacted by the 2019-2020 bushfires.


Please submit an Expression of Interest below if you or your organisation would like to be considered for access to these programs. Please note, this list of training programs will be expanded over time following the outcomes of the training needs analysis.


Psychological First Aid 

Psychological First Aid (PFA) is a practical, flexible, and recommended approach for frontline workers to help people affected by trauma. PFA helps to reduce the initial distress and assists persons impacted by potentially traumatic events to cope better in the days, weeks and months following a traumatic event. PFA is useful following traumatic events such as a disaster, a workplace accident, near death experiences or assault. PFA can also be used to help people who become distressed even years after the event, such as on anniversaries of the bushfires. Helpers trained in PFA ensure safety, provide emotional comfort and support, and offer practical advice and assistance to address people’s needs. The course teaches core skills of PFA, including simple psychological strategies, and helps the participant gain the confidence to provide assistance and support to colleagues and the general public affected by trauma.


Trauma-Informed Care

Trauma-Informed Care helps a frontline worker to build a trauma-impacted individual’s sense of safety, control and empowerment through strengths-based approaches. This course is teaches the principles and skills related to key aspects of TIC. These include skills to safely talk about the trauma; simple strategies for trauma-impacted individuals and communities to help them deal with their distress; and skills for encouraging connection with others. Trauma informed care principles and skills can also be applied within work settings.


Supporting Communities after a Disaster

This training includes elements of Trauma-Informed Care and Psychological First Aid, and is tailored to the needs of health professionals, including General Practitioners and other practice staff. This will include core modules, with the option to complete other topics of interest.


Skills for Life Adjustment and Resilience (SOLAR) Coaching

SOLAR is a five-session psychosocial skills training program that aims to promote resilience and recovery in people affected by disasters. Developed by international leaders in disaster mental health, this program can be delivered by healthcare workers or community workers and volunteers.


By getting involved in the SOLAR program service providers, community workers and organisations will benefit through:

  • receiving professional development and training to become a SOLAR coach and deliver the program in their workplace
  • receiving ongoing support and supervision for a 12-month period from post-disaster mental health specialists from Phoenix Australia
  • learning new skills to support the recovery of community members and respond to emerging mental health concerns
  • helping people who take part in the SOLAR program to learn skills to manage their own stress and trauma.


Can I become a SOLAR Coach?

On 2 December 2020, an online information night will be held by Phoenix Australia in collaboration with the mental Health Practitioners Network (MHPN). After attending the information night, you can register to become a SOLAR coach. Register for the information night.

Expression of interest

Please submit an Expression of Interest below if you or your organisation would like to be considered for access to the training programs.



Bushfire Trauma Preparation and Recovery – Enabling Healthcare Workers

Join us for an interactive webinar to discuss learnings from past fire seasons and what works in supporting workforce wellbeing.


In this webinar Phoenix Australia will present some of the long-term learnings from the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, lead a discussion about emerging health issues following the 2019-2020 bushfires and discuss best practice ways to help your workforce and communities psychologically prepare for the coming season.


Learn about Phoenix Australia’s brief trauma-related training to GPs and their practice staff that is funded through the Australian Government’s Mental Health Supports for Bushfire Affected Australians package. The training draws on elements of Trauma-Informed Care and Psychological First Aid.


Find out about the Black Dog Institute’s Bush Fire Support Service which includes specialty training for GPs in bushfire affected areas so they can better meet the needs of emergency service workers and their families.


Find out more and register here


Bushfire Trauma Preparation and Recovery – Enabling the Emergency Services Sector

Registrations for this webinar have now closed. Please find a recording and presentation slides below.