Anyone whose job revolves around caring for others is at risk of vicarious trauma and, as the drought drags on, a free workshop has been organised to help the regional helpers.
The Murrumbidgee Local Health District has helped to organise a series of free workshops in a bid to help rural workers who are supporting others experiencing drought-related distress and trauma. Many of these workers could need additional help for their own wellbeing, as they many not have mental health training.
The Wagga workshop will be held on Monday, May 27, presented by the Blue Knot Foundation.
Tarja Malone, the national helpline manager for the foundation, said anyone whose role was to support other people was at risk of being affected by vicarious trauma.
She said social workers, emergency personnel and health workers were among those who might be affected.
"Oftentimes we don't believe how hearing stories can have an impact," Ms Malone said.
"It's not a sign of weakness to need help. If we are working in the trauma space, it is important not to ignore it.
"A worker who isn't managing their own vicarious trauma may not be able to help others effectively."
Ms Malone said the affects of vicarious trauma varied between individuals and could have an impact that varied from low to high.
For people concerned that they themselves, or someone they care about, is being affected by vicarious trauma, Ms Malone said there were some things to look out for.
"There might be changes in relationships - people might be behaving differently in relationships with family, friends and colleagues," she said.
A worker who isn't managing their own vicarious trauma may not be able to help others effectively.Tarja Malone, Blue Knott Foundation
"Someone with VT might be avoiding certain conversations or certain people or there might be a change in someone's belief system or world views.
"Their thoughts might change and there might be changes in their body and brain function they might be edgy, they might develop depression,
"There might may be sleeping problems, alcohol and drug use, avoiding people, places or situations."
For more details on the workshops, contact Larah Harding on 02 6923 3147 or firstname.lastname@example.org