Peer Support Officer
Use your life experience and communication skills to help fellow clubbies in their hour of need.
Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ), operates in an environment which is prone to the occurrence of critical incidents. These events have the potential to evoke strong emotional, physical, behavioral and cognitive responses to those members involved. Peer Support Officers are able to offer individual support to the members.
The Role of a Peer Support Officer
- Have the option to be rostered on-call throughout the week at designated times as per roster for the region.
- Available to assist outside the rostered times if required, (e.g., when there is a critical incident).
- Provide support via telephone or in person to SLSQ members. To assist members to return to pre-incident level of functioning and coping in their lives.
- Assist members to understand the potential impact of stressful events.
- Educate members on the impacts of stressful events and provide coping strategies.
- Helping members to identify when professional treatment may be required.
- Offering a follow up call 7 days after and 14 days after the incident.
- Providing confidentiality to all those who receive Peer Support.
- Available to attend debrief sessions after each season, and to provide feedback to SLSQ staff to assist the improvement of this service.
- Optional informal catch-ups throughout the season.
Pre-Requisites of a Peer Support Officer
- Be a current financial member of SLSQ
- Working with Children Blue Card (Essential)
- Completion of SLSQ Child Youth Management Risk Strategies (CYRMS) & SLSA Child Safe Awareness (CSA) Courses
- Nominated and approved by SLSQ Club President
- Any relevant experience in psychology, peer support (Preferred)
- Required to sign SLSQ Confidentiality Agreement for Peer Support Officers
- Reporting all incidents through SLSQ Peer Support Report Form – Have competent computer skills
- Understand you may be called to provide evidence in external or internal review matters
What is involved in being a Peer Support Officer
- A Peer Support Officer is roster over the weekend they are on roster for members who have been involved in a traumatic incident.
- As a PSO you will only be contacted via the State Operation Communications Centre (SOCC) or the SLSQ Member Welfare Officer to provide Peer Support. You should not be tasked from within your own club. If this occurs, please contact the SLSQ Member Welfare Officer.
- Rosters will be provided 2 months in advance. An email will be sent out each week to advise the Peer Support Officers who are on. Please note the Peer Support Officer’s numbers will be provided to the State Operations Communications Centre (SOCC) and other Peer Support Officers.
- Peer Support Officers MUST fill in the Peer Support Officer Report Form post an incident (within 48 hours of providing support)
Training will be provided to all new Peer Support Officers; this will be face-to-face in your region. Training is required to be renewed every three years.
- Active Listening
- How to end a difficult conversation
- Peer Support
- Trauma, Resilience & Sleep
- Psychology First Aid
All current Peer Support Officers will be required to answer some questions to ensure they are aware of current practices.
After you have completed the training, Peer Support Officers will be given an award on Surfguard – QLD Peer Support Officers. The Surfguard Award will hold an expiry of 12 months and will hold a proficiency each season.
Peer Support Officers will be provided with an Information package upon completion of the above requirements. This information will have tips and guides on how to be a Peer Support Officer.
Further training may be included in the season depending on availability, E.g., Mental Health First Aid training.
Training to be held in person and should not go longer than 3 hours.
You will be working closely with the SLSQ’s Member Welfare Officer, support will be provided throughout the season to ensure that all Peer Support Officers are taken care of and understand the importance of their role.
If you believe you have the right skills and requirements to be a Peer Support Officer please talk with your club president and fill out the form Here
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