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Talking psychological first aid in mining

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Blog by Geri Morrell and Michael Stubley, Converge International

 

Health and safety topics are front and centre at the Queensland Mining Industry Health & Safety conference being held on the Gold Coast from 19 - 21 August. 

 

At this event, Converge International will be delivering an interactive presentation, handouts, and a white paper on Critical Incident Leadership and how to apply contemporary “Psychological First Aid” during, and in the immediate aftermath of, a critical incident event.  

 

What is psychological first aid?

 

Psychological first aid, ratified as the international standard by the United Nations and Red Cross, was developed on the lessons learned in the aftermath of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.

 

According to the Australian Psychological Society:

 

“Psychological first aid is an approach to helping people affected by an emergency, disaster or traumatic event.”

 

The aim of this approach is to help people to recover in their own time, after the impact of a traumatic event. Practically, this approach involves:

 

- Helping those people who are affected to feel safe

- Supporting those people to feel connected to each other

- Assisting people to remain calm and hopeful

- Guiding people on how to access physical, social and emotional support

- Empowering people to take their own actions to help themselves and support their own recovery

 

How can leaders support their staff after an incident?

We believe that providing access to support in the immediate aftermath of an incident is the key to supporting the mental fitness of your staff. The Australian Psychological Society (APS) and the Red Cross have developed a resource titled Psychological First Aid: An Australian guide to supporting people affected by disaster.

 

The guide outlines three psychological safety principles endorsed by the World Health Organization. According to the APS these principles provide guidance for how to support your staff directly after a traumatic event:

 

- View and safely enter an emergency situation (LOOK)

- Understand the needs of affected people (LISTEN), and

- Connect them with the information and practical support they need (LINK)

 

You can read more about these principles in the resource mentioned above.

 

Getting support after an emergency, disaster or traumatic event

Converge International is there to support managers and their staff in the aftermath of an emergency, disaster or traumatic event. We provide the information and practical support you need in the aftermath of a traumatic event. If your workplace is experiencing a critical incident:

 

- Call 1300 OUR EAP (1300 687 327) to report the event.

- Alternatively, you can launch our EAP Connect app on your smartphone and tap on the Critical Incident button; this will enable you to call Converge International. Calls are answered, 24 hours a day every day of the year

- Your call will be transferred to a Rapid Response Senior Consultant

- The Rapid Response Senior Consultant will work with you to develop a critical incident plan and will provide you with information, advice and strategies to support your staff until a Converge International consultant arrives

- If the critical incident is a mass-scale disaster, or if the event is still in progress, Converge International will establish a dedicated team at a central location to manage the support provided to affected staff

 

You can find out more about our critical incident response supports for psychological first aid by clicking here.

 

See you at the Queensland Mining Industry Health & Safety conference

 

We will be presenting at the event at 9:50 am on Wednesday, 22 August. You will be able to hear our presentation, Critical Incident Leadership - Applying Best Practise Psychological First Aid, in the Southport Room. We look forward to seeing you then!

 

You can find out more about the Queensland Mining Industry Health & Safety conference by clicking here.

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