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Wellbeing Support Services for Family Members of CFA People

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As well as dealing with usual work and life pressures, CFA people are often exposed to potentially traumatic or stressful events, which can put them at potential risk of mental health issues, such as stress, anxiety or depression.

This can have an impact on how they manage at home and work. It can affect their relationships with others, particularly their family and friends.

It's important that CFA people manage their mental health in the same way as they manage their physical health.  If your partner or loved one is experiencing difficulties, it’s important that they get help early, so it doesn’t develop into a more serious mental illness. 

CFA has a range of support services and resources to help members manage through any mental health or relationship issues.  

As a family member, you’re also able to access these free, confidential services for any issue – it doesn’t have to relate to CFA.

National Redress Scheme

As a participant of the national redress scheme that commenced on 1 July 2018, CFA encourages its people affected to familiarise themselves with the process to be undertaken. Click here for more information on the National Redress Scheme, which is for people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse.

CFA is committed to ensuring a safe environment for all our people and has specialised services in place for survivors of historic child sexual abuse, this includes partnership with Centres Against Sexual Assault (CASA). If you are concerned about current matters involving the safety of children at CFA please contact the child safety officer at childsafetyofficer@cfa.vic.gov.au

If you are concerned about any past or current matters relating to yourself, a family member or a colleague, please contact the CFA Integrity Office for a confidential discussion: integrityoffice@cfa.vic.gov.au

National Redress Scheme Information Sheet (PDF 60K)

How to support your partner or mate

Everyone is different and their reactions to potentially traumatic or stressful events will be different.

If a family member or loved one has been involved in a potentially traumatic situation, you can help by:

  • Spending time with them. Listen carefully, reassure them and support them. Just being there for them may be all they require.
  • Give them space if they don't want to talk. 
  • Encouraging them to engage in activities or hobbies they enjoy.

How to recognise a problem

There are a number of warning signs that could suggest your partner or loved one is having difficulty as a result of their role in CFA, such as attending a potentially traumatic event.

Keep an eye out for changes in how they:

  • Interact with their family, friends, workmates or brigade.
  • Sleep
  • Eat and drink
  • Feel physically
  • Normally operate.  For example, has their routine changed? Are they finding it difficult to get back to their normal activities such as socialising, exercising or enjoying their hobbies?

If you notice significant changes in their behaviour or emotional reactions, they may need some help to get their old selves back.

Where to get further help?

CFA has a range of wellbeing support services available to all volunteers, employees and their immediate family members.

When you contact any of these services, make sure you identify yourself as the partner or/family member of a CFA volunteer or employee:

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Service Details Contact
Member Assistance Program Professional, confidential counselling through an external provider for personal or CFA-related issues: 

1800 959 232   

(follow the prompts to reach the appropriate support service)
Peer support Program Psychological First Aid (PFA) and personal support provided by trained CFA Peers for personal or CFA-related issues.
Centre Against Sexual Assault (CASA)                                                 Specialised support service for survivors of historic child sexual abuse. This service provides specialised counselling to CFA people and their families
Chaplaincy Support Program On-site and off-site non-denominational pastoral care support through an external provider.
Member Wellbeing Advisors Support in the promotion of mental health and wellbeing across the organisation through the delivery of a range of targeted educational packages to support CFA people and teams. Member Wellbeing Advisors are located in each Region and at CFA HQ. (03) 9262 8409
wellbeing@cfa.vic.gov.au

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