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Psychological First Aid. What is it and why is it important for you?

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Psychological First Aid. What is it and why is it important for you?

Helping Victorians to better support mental health in communities experiencing the enduring impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of the Victorian Government’s COVID-19 Mental Health and Wellbeing Package, Phoenix Australia is offering a series of free webinars focused on industries that are considered most impacted by COVID-19.

Just as we can apply First Aid to provide immediate relief and support a person’s recovery from physical trauma, we can apply Psychological First Aid to provide immediate relief and support a person’s recovery from psychological trauma. Knowing what to do to look after yourself and others can make a world of difference – not just in the immediate aftermath of a traumatic event –but also many months or years later, when even seemingly small adverse events can have a compounding effect and traumas of the past can resurface and reduce someone’s ability to cope.

Our webinar will provide an overview of the core elements of Psychological First Aid, give you access to the available courses and other relevant resources, and share first-hand insights into the challenges and experiences that others in your industry have faced and how these are being addressed through the application of Psychological First Aid. By bringing together experts with different perspectives lived experiences, and insights, we aim to help you help others better.

In addition, we’ll discuss how you can use the skills and knowledge from the free online training available to you now through the Phoenix Australia COVID-19 and Mental Health project. You can find out more about the training available and register your interest here:

Who should participate?  

The webinar is designed for people who are involved in or provide support to the arts and creative industries across Victoria. 

Speakers / Panellists

Alexandra Howard (moderator) is Director of Disaster and Public Health Emergencies at Phoenix Australia and will be moderating our upcoming Psychological First Aid. What is it and why is it important for you? webinar. She is a clinical psychologist with more than a decade of experience in posttraumatic mental health. She has worked with emergency service and military personnel, traumatic injury patients, disaster-impacted communities, and the health professionals who support them. Alexandra’s particular expertise lies in post-disaster and workplace trauma support, with a particular focus on marginalised populations. She has published in the field of posttraumatic mental health and has presented her work at national and international conferences.

Professor Patricia Watson is an international expert in mental health who co-developed the principles of psychosocial care that remain the foundation of recovery efforts across the globe, and will share a presentation explaining the core elements of Psychological First Aid. She will then be joined by our panel of artists and creative leaders who will share first-hand experiences, unique perspectives, and valuable insights through an in-depth and practical exploration of the critical issues and their impacts.

Betty Musgrove is a Naarm/Melbourne based artist and arts worker. In her creative practice she has a diverse background in textiles, printmaking, book binding, 3D collage, installation, soft sculpture, wearable art and drawing. In her arts worker capacity she has spent the last decade in administration, media, marketing and communications, and supporting events and projects for feminist focused festivals and small arts organisations. She is passionate about community arts and enjoys working within teams that help people find creative outlets. She currently sits on the lived experience advisory board for the Arts Wellbeing Collective

Kellie Sutherland has dedicated herself to various roles within the creative industries. She is a founding member and creative co-director of musical group Architecture in Helsinki, and since mid-2020 has been working in Creative Recovery roles for Regional Arts Victoria, supporting regional artists and communities who have been impacted by disaster. With a strong understanding of community-led and Creative Recovery practices, Kellie is passionate about inspiring, connecting and thriving creatively.

Themme Fatale is an internationally touring drag and circus artist, creator, and producer. In their performance work they have been described as "an aesthetic agitator", creating work that blends the sincere and surreal, the camp and class-conscious, and uses humour to explore themes of gender, power, autonomy, and hope.  In addition to their performance practice, they are also published visual artist, writer, and speaker. Their work has been featured in Archer Magazine, the Festival of Jewish Art and Music, Melbourne Fashion Week, the NGV, the Melbourne Pride Generations Project Archive, quoted in numerous academic texts, and one time shared on social media by Adrienne Maree Brown, which they insisted on including. They are passionate about the power of being a bit silly as a gateway to engaging people's compassion in difficult topics.

What is the cost? 

There is no cost to participate in this webinar.

Presented by Phoenix Australia

We’re Australia’s National Centre of Excellence in Posttraumatic Mental Health, the internationally recognised experts in trauma-related mental health and wellbeing. We build evidence and translate knowledge into action, such as improved treatment options and greater support for trauma-affected individuals, families, and communities.

We are Phoenix Australia. We understand trauma and renew lives.

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