Our clinical intake team assess emergency workers and can refer them on to our specialist network for expert treatment. Please note that we are currently building up Responder Assist’s capacity. As such, our services are only currently available to emergency workers and veterans from Police Veterans Victoria and SES Victoria. As we build capacity, we will continue to add more emergency services, including Ambulance Victoria, Country Fire Authority (CFA), ESTA (Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority), Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV), Forest Fire Management Victoria and Victoria Police.
Why are we supporting mental health professionals to treat frontline workers? Because we it’s a key way that we can improve mental health outcomes. Hear from the team, including Director, Enterprise Professor Nicole Sadler on why clinicians should consider specialist training when treating emergency workers.
The Responder Assist Multidisciplinary Advice Panel and enquiry line provides practitioners with free, confidential, expert advice to improve the quality of mental health services delivered to emergency service workers in Victoria. The service is available to all medical and health practitioners as well as support organisations working with emergency services workers in Victoria.
The research team in Responder Assist works tirelessly to study and understand new developments in treating emergency workers. The studies conducted form part of the wider program of research at Phoenix Australia and build on our collective expertise in post-traumatic mental health.
We are currently undertaking a study to understand the treatment experiences of emergency workers. Find out more
We are also investigating the experiences of clinicians who treat emergency workers. Find out more
Discovering Improved Treatment
A program of emergency services worker centric research and evaluation activities is being undertaken. The primary goal is to improve our understanding of the treatment of mental disorders in emergency services workers and identify innovative and impactful ways to advance clinical treatment.
How Research Improves the Service
Responder Assist has embedded quality improvement processes, which monitor the benefits of treatment provided by Responder Assist practitioners. The data gathered through these processes will be used to improve the service.
For health practitioners who are working with (or would like to work with) emergency services personnel, we have developed a range of courses that are specific to this unique sector. Click on a course below to find out more.
This course is designed for mental health practitioners who would like to develop their core cultural competencies for working with emergency services personnel.
This course is designed to increase practitioner knowledge about one of the most common mental health conditions that practitioners are likely to encounter in their work with emergency services workers. This course will help practitioners to diagnose PTSD; to understand prevalence, gender differences, comorbidity, risk factors, course and phenomenology; and introduces evidence-based treatments for PTSD.Find out more
This course will help practitioners to develop their capability in conducting comprehensive, trauma-informed clinical assessments of emergency workers. The course provides a summary of methods common in the practice of evidence-based assessment and include a resource bank of assessment and treatment planning tools which can be accessed at any time.Find out more
Self-care is of particular importance for health practitioners when they work with the emergency services sector. This course is designed to help practitioners to take care of themselves as they go about their work with emergency services personnel. The course will help practitioners to enhance resilience as well as understand the risk factors and impact of vicarious trauma, burnout, and moral injury.Find out more
Trauma-focussed Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (TF-CBT) is an evidence-based treatment for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder that aims to help the individual come to terms with trauma through exposure to, and emotional processing of, memories of the event. Part One introduces practitioners to the common components of this evidence-based treatment.Find out more
Following on from Part I, this course provides detail on engaging therapy treatments including implementing imaginal and in-vivo exposure therapy and trauma-focussed cognitive therapy.Find out more
This course will build practitioners’ skills in case formulation when treating emergency workers. The course will use case vignettes to help develop understanding of the principles underpinning the development of case formulations and formulation-based treatment plans.Find out more
Responder Assist provides a range of training options to mental health professionals, including education in emergency worker culture, as well as the latest in evidence-based trauma and mental health treatments.Find out more
Responder Assist engages, supports and develops specialist clinicians in the treatment of emergency workers.Find out more
Responder Assist brings together practitioners to share their experiences and further their collective understanding, as they engage in treatment of emergency workers.Find out more
Our Multidisciplinary Advice Panel supports clinicians in providing the best possible care to emergency workers.Find out more
Can you see yourself as part of a highly specialised group of clinicians? Do you want to learn about the latest in evidence-based trauma treatments? Clinicians in the network will receive emergency worker client referrals and have access to the latest research and advanced training in evidence-based treatments.
In partnership with the Mental Health Practitioners’ Network (MHPN), Responder Assist is creating a new Community of Practice (COP) for practitioners working with emergency services workers across Victoria.
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.
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.
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.
The Responder Assist CoP features experts discussing mental health concerns like trauma, anxiety, depression and PTSD. There are also opportunities to learn from emergency workers with lived experiences.