It's OK to not be OK!

Behind The Seen is external to emergency services organisations but wherever possible presents program sessions in the workplace.  Behind The Seen is based on an assets based community development model that recognises and utilizes strengths among population groups and builds appropriate support networks from those strengths.

Behind The Seen does NOT replace organisational support systems, it is a “prequel” – “back to basics” program sessions based on lived experience and culturally relevant strategies to reduce stigma and encourage meaningful conversations among first responders in the workplace, and at home with their families.

With over sessions presented to over 1000 first responders and family members, the feedback has overwhelmingly stated that the session increased conversations around mental health with colleagues; reduced stigma: clarified organisational support systems; clarified community supports; explained stress and resilience in simple and entertaining ways, motivated positive help seeking behaviours and made families feel included, valued and capable as supports for their emergency services spouses, parents or siblings.

Program sessions for car accident

Behind The Seen Session

The basic Behind The Seen program is designed to inspire conversations about first responder mental health utilizing lived experience, demonstrations, trigger “gifts” ,take home packs for the participants plus a special pack to take home to family members.

Sessions are delivered at station level OR in a community venue.
The sessions are a pre-cursor or an addition to structured mental health first aid programs.

Examples of topics covered include:
• How do you recognise symptoms of stress in a mate?
• He says he’s okay, but I can tell he isn’t – what should I do?
• How do you prepare new recruits for incidents?
• How do we overcome the old “toughen up” culture?
• How do I deal with my own stresses?
• How can we set up our own local support networks?

Sessions can be customised to identified team needs.

Basic Behind The Seen program sessions
Behind The Seen program sessions for families

BTS For Families

For partners of emergency service personnel, adult children of emergency service personnel. These sessions can be delivered solely for family members OR as part of a standard Behind The Seen booking in the workplace where organisers encourage family member attendance.

For country areas or for those short on time, we are able to combine the Basic and Family Sessions on request

  • What is different about being the partner/child of someone in emergency services?
  • What to do when your partner has been to a traumatic incident
  • Warning signs to be aware of
  • Encouraging open communication
  • The differences between men and women in communication
  •  When “the brotherhood” seems more important than “the family”
  •  Enabling versus supporting
  •  Maintaining a sense of self

Stress Less Conversation Pack and Session

The Stress Less Conversation packs, developed in partnership with the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health, are designed to initiate conversations in a broader range of workplaces than just triple 0 first responders.

Occupations who have utilised the pack in their teams with positive outcomes include hospital emergency staff, psychologists and social workers, mental health workers, corrections staff, community workers, child protection workers, refuge workers, advocacy services and more.

With recent funding from Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal we will soon include a facilitator guide to encourage peer support sessions utilising the packs.

behind the seen program sessions conferences, symposiums and workshops

Speakers: Conferences, Symposiums, Workshops

Ross and Veronique have been presenting at a variety of conferences for the last 6 years. The topics presented have included:
• Mental Health of First Responders: A Lived Experience Perspective
• Families of First Responders: The Hidden Lives
• Respectful Relationships: Collaborations Between Researchers, Practitioners and Those With Lived Experience
• Addressing the burden of poor mental health among Australian emergency service workers (with Black Dog Insititute researchers)

Special Events Coordination

• Triple 0 RAW Challenge
• Triple 0 Stress Less Event
• Frontline Event