Everyone reacts to situations differently, so be flexible with the support you provide. If you notice your loved one struggling, ask them how they want to be helped. They may want to chat about it, or they may prefer some time to themselves.
Remind yourself that you don’t have to ‘fix the problem’, there are psychologists and medical professionals for that. But be there for them, let them open up, listen to them, and acknowledge their feelings.
Starting a conversation and asking “R U OK?” isn’t always easy, even with those we care about the most.
As part of the Are They Triple OK? campaign, R U OK? has developed a free 10-minute online interactive course for family and friends of emergency services personnel. Learn how to ask “R U OK?” of anyone in your world who you might be worried about, and feel confident in how to respond appropriately and safely if the answer is, “No, I’m not OK.”
Emergency service work can be very rewarding, but it can also be physically and emotionally challenging. That’s why it’s important that our employees and volunteers reach out to their family for much needed support.
There are also a range of formal supports available to all DFES staff and emergency services volunteers that can help and assist your loved one if they are struggling. Make sure you encourage them to access these tools and contacts we’ve provided here:
Sometimes, supporting a loved one who does emergency services work can take its toll on you, too. If you find yourself in this situation, make sure you use the tools and contacts we’ve provided below.
Children and young people of emergency services personnel can also feel impacted for a range of reasons. If you’d like to support your child or young person to access some support, consider some of these options.
Remember to always discuss any concerns with your child or young person first and empower them to be part of the help-seeking process.