The environment in which Surf Life Saving operates has the potential for members to be involved in serious incidents of a high-intensity and traumatic nature, and which do often involve death, serious injury and/or significant risk to lifesaving personnel.
A critical incident debrief is undertaken to ensure that:
- Member welfare/support is optimised
- The ability to re-establish core lifesaving services is achieved
- Obligatory paperwork and data is recorded, collected and forwarded appropriately
- The Surf Life Saving response is documented for future review or for legal reasons (if required)
- Surf Life Saving is best positioned (through effective data collection) to provide drowning prevention recommendations to the Coroner and relevant local government authorities.
SLSNSW has a contract with a private counselling organisation. Expert counselling plays the following roles in SLS Critical Incidents:
- Provision of trauma information/brochures
- Provision of three free 24/7 counselling sessions to members once approved by SLSNSW
- Provision of psychological first aid (emotive debrief) training to Branch Duty Officers and Peer Support Officers
- Provision of group counselling sessions for significantly traumatic critical incidents
Accessing expert counselling:
Individual Counselling Session (post-incident): Members (or their parents for 18 years or younger) can request an individual counselling session as they deem necessary.
- Helping someone at risk of suicide
- Help when you are feeling down
- Overcoming stress
- Men experiencing difficult times
- Panic attacks
- Coping with sorrow loss and grief
- Carers of people with mental illness
- Suicide prevention information for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Island people
- Domestic violence
- Coping with loss and change in a community after a natural disaster