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Family Support

Emergency service work can be very rewarding, but it can also be physically and emotionally draining. That’s why it’s important that our employees and volunteers reach out to their family for much needed support; however, sometimes this can take a toll on them too. If you find yourself in this situation, make sure you use the tools and contacts we’ve provided below.

What to look out for

Some jobs are tougher than others so make sure you pay attention to your loved one’s behaviour. After a traumatic situation it’s completely normal if they show signs of stress, anxiety or depression, but if these signs are still present after four weeks, they may need extra help. Here are some signs to look out for:

  • Changes in sleeping and/or eating patterns.
  • Seeming tired and irritable.
  • Constant worrying.
  • Muscle tension or restlessness.
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions.
  • Loss of interest in things they used to enjoy.
  • Feelings of anger, sadness or frustration.
  • Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness or guilt.
  • Learn to identify you or your family member’s warning signs and symptoms (some are listed above).
  • Establish routines, which can help manage stress by making the day predictable.
  • Have fun and spend time doing things you enjoy as a couple/family.
  • Prioritise health with a balanced diet, regular exercise, hydration and adequate sleep.
  • Manage fatigue by scheduling time to relax (e.g. meditation or yoga).
  • Allocate time to calmly and openly share thoughts and feelings.
  • Focus on the positives and look for solutions when faced with problems.
  • Focus your energy on what is within your control, rather then what is outside of your control.

Getting support

Emergency service work can be very rewarding, but it can also be physically and emotionally draining. That’s why it’s important that our employees and volunteers reach out to their family for much needed support; however, sometimes this can take a toll on them too. If you find yourself in this situation, make sure you use the tools and contacts we’ve provided below.


Speak to them about any physical or mental health problems. It is recommend that you see the same GP, rather than seeing a different GP each time. This will help with trust, rapport, continuity of care and a holistic wellbeing approach.

They have the training to provide support and the resources to connect the individual with other support systems.

The DFES Wellness Team provides holistic support and information to help promote positive wellbeing and resiliency. You can contact us to find out information on appropriate support services. Contact the team at wellness@dfes.wa.gov.au.

The DFES Peer Support Programs consists of trained employees and volunteers who can provide initial support and information on health and wellbeing services. Peer Support Officers can be contacted directly via the staff intranet and volunteer hub.

This service is available to all DFES employees, emergency service volunteers and their immediate family. You can access this service for work, volunteer or personal related matters. Face-to-face, phone and skype options are available. You can each access six free sessions per issue/reason. All you need to do is directly contact either of the providers outlined below.

PeopleSense: Access general, State-wide counselling services from Monday to Thursday between 9am and 7pm and Friday between 9am and 5pm. PeopleSense also provides an out-of-hours crisis counselling service. Call 9388 9000 or Free Dial 1300 307 912.

Martinovich Psychological Services (MPS): Access general counselling services from Monday to Friday between 9am and 6pm. Contact the office closest to you: Fremantle (9433 6559), Rockingham (9527 6599) and Dunsborough (9750 5356).

Other Important Contacts


Crisis Care 9233 1111
Lifeline 13 11 14
Beyondblue 1300 224 636
Road Trauma Support WA 1300 004 814
Family Helpline 9223 1100
Mensline Australia 1300 789 978
Mental Health Emergencies 1300 555 788
The Samaritans 1800 198 313
Family Drug Support 1300 368 186
Healthdirect 1800 022 222
Poisons Information 13 11 26