The month of October is Mental Health month and PSA/POVB have been promoting for members to look out for each other and to start to change the communication around mental health and wellbeing.
The executive has been meeting with CSNSW and pushing for a greater need for Mental Health Wellbeing programs, debriefs after incidents, training for managers on how to facilitate a debrief, calling in EAPS for serious incidents and in general a greater level of support for CSNSW staff.
CSNSW has been holding many focus groups across CSNSW, to give feedback and ideas on what staff think is needed. The involvement in these focus groups have been beneficial and has assisted in confirming the need for greater support to assist with the Mental Health and Wellbeing of staff.
The department has approved the RAW Mindcoach program, which the Ambulance Service provides its staff. The program will be tailored to suit the staff of CSNSW.
At the meeting today 24 October, the committee endorsed the implementation of the Stand TLR program. This program was designed by the Western Australia Prison Officers Union, it can be tailored to the audience either custodial or non-custodial.
The PSA and POVB executive have been pushing this program with CSNSW as we feel it will be of real benefit to the membership. The PSA have had this program presented at Annual Conference and at the Mental Health Conference last year and was received well by all attendees.
These programs will be looking at being implemented in the New Year. We see this move as one of the first major steps in CSNSW really addressing our concerns with regards to staff Mental Health and Wellbeing. On this subject all areas of CSNSW have come together and have had real open and frank discussions on the issues pertaining to all areas of CSNSW and it is positive to see real outcomes coming out of these meetings that will go towards benefiting all staff.
At the meeting today we discussed EAPS and the service they provide. We often hear the negative feedback from the service provider however members don’t always hear the positive feedback.
I raised today a positive scenario that happened at Silverwater Women’s Correctional Centre last week. A serious incident occurred where negotiations took place to attempt to stop an inmate from self-harming or possibly hurt staff. The staff did an amazing job. I later heard from the staff positive feedback on how the debrief was completed and the support they got from staff and management.
The Work Health Safety Chairperson immediately called in EAPS to attend the centre for the involved staff to speak to them. At first there was hesitation however they did all speak to the Benestar provider. The feedback I received from them was only positive. The staff said the debrief was carried out where they got valuable information for future incidents, skills on negotiating and they felt listened to and valued through the process. All accounts with the interactions with Benestar where positive.
We want all delegates to start having conversations with their managers on Mental Health and Wellbeing in their centres and to push for EAPS to come to the centre after serious incidents.
CSNSW and POVB want all feedback in regards to our EAPS provider. This is so the issues can be addressed as we cannot make positive change if the feedback is not given to CSNSW. If members feel better contacting the executive with the feedback, then please do so.
The Executive is working with CSNSW to get better services and support for the staff of CSNSW. We need your help also in looking out for each other, making sure that Peer Support Staff are called for serious incidents, EAPS provider is called for serious incidents, debriefs are carried out for serious incidents and that our communication around mental health and wellbeing is positive and that it is ok to not be ok.
Chairperson 0427 609 199
Vice Chairperson 0401 500 976
Secretary 0404 042 600
Assistant Secretary 0447 633 476
Country Vice Chair 0407 935 039
Country Vice Chair 0407 011 441
POVB Industrial Officer 0419 022 767
POVB Industrial Officer 0418 425 976