Service NSW staff across the Central Coast are being trained to support customers facing emotional pressure or mental stress, as communities continue to feel the impact of bushfires, flooding and COVID-19.
Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello and Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast Adam Crouch visited the Erina Service Centre yesterday to meet with staff who have received the mental health training, to help customers facing increased stress and anxiety.
“The past 18 months have been unbelievably difficult with drought, bushfires and COVID-19, and many people are under extraordinary emotional pressure or mental stress. This is about making sure people are getting the support they need,” Mr Dominello said.
“Our frontline staff are well placed to assist people in finding that support, and its empowering to see them demonstrate the skills to recognise and respond empathetically to people in distress.”
Mr Crouch said the training program, which has been fast-tracked for Service NSW staff, is part of a two-year investment of more than $1 million in suicide prevention training for Government staff working in systems outside of mental health.
“Frontline staff at Service NSW have done a fantastic job under pressure and this training has helped them better support customers in our community,” Mr Crouch said.
“During the training, staff were shown useful techniques to de-escalate situations and provide referral options for customers who may require more specialised mental health support.”
Service NSW Erina Digital Service Representative Chantel Johnson said the training not only provided vital skills to help others, but also gave staff the tools to look after their own mental health and improve their mental fitness.
“I feel more confident in recognising and responding appropriately to someone’s emotional distress, both at work and at home. We all need help sometimes and it’s important people know they are not alone,” Ms Johnson said.
The training initiative is part of Towards Zero Suicides, a Premier’s Priority that is delivering an $87 million investment over three years in new suicide prevention initiatives.
If you, or someone you know, is thinking about suicide or experiencing a personal crisis or distress, please seek help immediately by calling 000 or one of these services: