This week is Mental Health Week across Australia. This coincides with World Mental Health Day which fell on 10 October. Mental Health Week provides organisations with an opportunity to raise awareness about mental health and wellbeing. Surf Life Saving NSW is taking this opportunity to launch our new member welfare procedures following critical incidents.
The health and wellbeing of surf lifesavers across NSW was highlighted as a key priority in the Surf Life Saving NSW Strategic Plan 2018-21. "Over the past year, we have worked closely with psychologists and experts in critical incident management and post-traumatic stress to understand how we can best support our members following a critical incident," said SLSNSW CEO Steven Pearce.
"We’re proud to deliver a new member welfare process to our members this season, which is firmly rooted in best practice. This is a key outcome and commitment of our Strategic Plan. The health and welfare of our members is hugely important to us. Myself, the SLSNSW President, George Shales and the entire SLSNSW Board are committed to doing what we can to look after our members that attend these critical incidents."
The new procedures will be endorsed by the SLSNSW Board in the coming weeks, and promoted to members alongside the updated Lifesaving Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
A new Member Welfare Guide outlines the support that members can expect if they are involved in a critical incident, and also creates awareness around the reactions that members may experience, and some coping strategies that they may find useful.
This is just the first of a number of resources which will made available to members this season, with additional personnel, training and resources in the pipeline to help embed this process and to support a strong culture of member safety and wellbeing.
Friday 11 October 2019