The DFES Peer Support Program is a cross-service State wide initiative aimed at supporting the emergency services community and promoting good mental health. This program is available to all DFES personnel, volunteers and their families. Since the reinvigoration of the Program in late 2014, 93 people have been appointed as Peer Support Officers comprising DFES staff, career firefighters (CFRS), volunteers from the Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service (VFRS), Volunteer Fire and Emergency Service (VFES), State Emergency Service (SES), the Volunteer Marine Rescue Service (VMR) and the Bushfire Brigade (BFB). 34 of those are located in the metropolitan area and 59 in regional areas. From June 2015 to the end of March 2016 there have been 1016 peer support contacts recorded. This number of contacts reiterates the importance of this style of program in supporting our people.
To continually develop and improve the program we recently held the annual Refresher Training where 50 Officers from around the State came to Perth to build on their knowledge, skills and abilities. We have also now introduced Peer Support Team Leaders to each region. These individuals act as a local point of contact for Peer Support Officers within their region, facilitate team cohesion, and provide supervision to ensure the health and wellbeing of our Officers.
It is with great pleasure to announce that the Peer Support Program won the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) Achievement Award for Best Practice in
Health and Wellbeing on Friday June 24th 2016. The award recognises the Program as leading the way in best practice for enhancing health and wellbeing in WA. This is an amazing achievement and could not be possible without all the hard work, dedication and commitment of the Peer Support Officer team.
All details on the Program can be found on the DFES Intranet and Volunteer Portal under Wellness.
Charlotte Hunter, BA(Hons), MOrgPsych
Wellness Programs Coordinator | Registered Psychologist
Wellness Branch | Human Resources | Corporate Services
Department of Fire and Emergency Services|20 Stockton Bend, Cockburn Central, WA 6164
P: 08 9395 9874 | Mob: 0437 627 181 | E: email@example.com | Fax: 9395 9756 | www.dfes.wa.gov.au