Response: Mental wellbeing, trauma, depression and suicide in first respond...

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Quality Hotel Elms

456 Papanui Road

Christchurch, Canterbury 8542

New Zealand

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Sales Have Ended

Registrations are closed
Registration for the Dealing with the Aftermath workshop has closed. To check if there are still vacancies in this workshop please contact the organiser directly.
Event description


“First responder mental health is a state of well-being in which a worker realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life and work, can work productively and is able to continue to make a contribution to her or his community.”
Mental Health & Wellbeing Strategy for First Responder Organisations in NSW

The mental health and wellbeing of staff and members must be a key priority for all first responder organisations. First responders are workers who first respond to emergency situations such as Fire, Police, Ambulance, Civil Defence and air rescue services. They are routinely exposed to a range of factors that can increase the risk of mental health problems, including trauma, conflict, lack of control over their work or volunteer environment and unusual working hours. he recent tragic shootings in Christchurch reminds us that traumatic events, such as mass shootings, can have a lasting effect on anyone connected to the event--not just immediate bystanders. The cumulative trauma exposure experienced by first responders is a unique challenge. Regular exposure to trauma is an unavoidable consequence of the first responder role, but is known to be a risk factor for a range of mental health problems. There has been an increase in the numbers of first responder staff with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) who are on extended sick leave or leaving their jobs due to occupation related permanent disability as well as first responders dying by suicide.

There is a range of barriers that may prevent first responders asking for help when needed. These include stigma, embarrassment, lack of knowledge, uncertainty regarding treatment options or concerns regarding the impact seeking help may have on their career. Delays in seeking help can prolong suffering and make recovery more complicated. There is a range of ways in which first responder organisations can seek to reduce barriers to help seeking, including stigma reduction initiatives, mental health education and peer support programs. Managers, team leaders, chaplains and human resource staff all play a key role in assisting staff and members

First responder organisation should ensure they are promoting and facilitating best treatment practices for their members and staff. First responders also have a responsibility to seek out treatment when needed and to work in partnership with treating clinicians.

This workshop provides an overview of how first responder organisations can be instrumental in reducing the risk of mental disorders and suicide as well as promoting wellbeing and resilience in their staff. It equips participants with a comprehensive understanding of trauma related depression and suicide and how to recognise and respond to individuals experiencing mental health difficulties. Participants will examine the particular challenges of suicide in first responders and what the evidence suggests are best practice in supporting staff experiencing severe psychological distress.

With the government identifying wellbeing and mental health as priorities, the workshop will outline the key determinants of staff wellbeing for first responders and the policies, programmes and systems the facilitate mentally well workplaces.

While targeted at first responders, the content of this workshop is applicable to any front line workers who are exposed to occupation related trauma, e.g. corrections officers, nursing and medical staff, civil defence workers.

Topics covered:

  • Overview of the phenomenon of suicide and the "suicide moment"

  • Workplace wellbeing strategies for first responder organisations

  • Sad Misery and Depression - Identifying the difference

  • Being strong - Attitudes to mental health and help seeking in male dominant work cultures

  • Trauma and PTSD

  • Past childhood trauma and exposure to work related trauma

  • Impact of work related trauma on partners and family

  • Creating supportive environment for staff

  • Supporting a staff member with trauma related conditions

Target audience

  • Senior management

  • Front line managers

  • Welfare officers

  • Chaplains

  • Union representatives

An opportunity for a day of learning with internationally respected suicidologist, Barry Taylor

Barry has proven leadership over 30 years at local, national and international levels in using community initiatives and strength-based approaches to improve individual and community wellbeing and the prevention of suicide. His work has strongly focussed on suicide prevention, assessment and management of suicidality and postvention.

Barry has lectured and mentored programmes, both nationally and internationally, and been appointed to numerous government advisory committees on mental wellbeing and suicide prevention. In 2016 he was awarded the NSW Mental Health Commissioner's Community Champion Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to mental wellbeing and suicide prevention.

He has worked with first responders in several countries and has an interest in trauma related suicide, the impact of trauma on partners and family and the impact of childhood trauma on work related exposure to trauma. He led a national initiative on suicide prevention for the sons and daughters of Vietnam veterans.

He contributed to the development of the The Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy for First Responder Organisations in NSW. As a Health Sociologist and Public Health practitioner, Barry has a long-term interest on the role of gender in mental wellbeing, mental illness and suicide. He is internationally known for his work on depression and suicide in men. He is currently developing a national initiative to address depression and suicide in men.

After a number of years overseas, Barry is living back in New Zealand and is passionate about building the knowledge base, competence and capability within our country to effectively respond to the unacceptably high rates of suicide in this country.


Minimum Number of Participants: 15 Maximum Number of Participants: 30
Places in each workshop are limited. If the workshop is full please register your name on the waitlist. TaylorMade Training and Consulting reserve the right to cancel the workshop if there are not the minimum number of registrations. If cancelled a full refund will be given.

This workshop is fully catered. Please indicate in the registration process if you have any particular dietary requirements. If you register after the registration closing date, while every effort will be made, your dietary requirements may not be able to be catered.

Cancellation and Refund Policy
If you are no longer able to attend the workshop please cancel your registration as soon as possible.

Cancellation up to five working days prior to the commencement of the workshop:
Full Refund less $25 admin fee

Cancellation within five working days prior to the commencement of the workshop:
No refund but registration can be transferred to another person

No show on the day of workshop: No refund
To transfer your registration log on to your registration and update the name and contact details to the new person attending.

Organiser Contact Details

Barry Taylor
Principal Consultant
TaylorMade Training and Consulting

Office: 04 905 6145
Mobile: 022 104 5060

Date and Time


Quality Hotel Elms

456 Papanui Road

Christchurch, Canterbury 8542

New Zealand

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