The general health and wellbeing of surf lifesavers across northern NSW will be firmly on the agenda from Monday as Australia prepares to celebrate national volunteer week.
Surf Life Saving New South Wales in partnership with the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP) and Surf Life Saving Lower North Coast, Mid North Coast, North Coast and Far North Coast branches will be presenting a series of information sessions to assist the wellbeing of our valued members.
The sessions are part of national volunteers week which takes place between May 21-27, and is a celebration to recognise the generous contribution that thousands of Australians make through volunteering in their community.
In 2018 the theme is “give a little. Change a lot.”
It is a strong theme that encompasses the efforts of all local surf lifesavers.
Across the four Northern NSW branches almost 3000 people pulled on the red and yellow last summer rescuing over 300 people, and completing 105,000 hours of volunteer service for the betterment of their local communities.
Keeping the members healthy in all areas of their life but particularly through strong mental health is an ongoing focus for the organisation moving forward.
“Partnering with RAMHP to provide members with access to this important information that supports their wellbeing and health is something we are delighted to be a part of,” SLSNSW ceo, Steven Pearce said.
“National volunteer week is an ideal time to have these important conversations, and I would encourage all our members to avail themselves of this opportunity by attending one of the sessions.
Local RAMHP coordinators said helping to manage and reduce volunteer stress as well as looking after your own mental health and wellbeing is critical to growing and supporting the volunteer workforce.
“Volunteer fatigue can lead to people resenting their committee or their role, not feeling valued, or even disengaging from the committee and possibly leaving.
“We know that the further we let stress or fatigue go with no intervention the worse it can become, and the longer it will take to recover,” RAMHP said in a statement.
“It is important to recognise when someone is not coping with their mental health, how to have the conversation and how you can help.”
The aim of the sessions is to provide information and insights into mental health, wellbeing and stress.
Participants will learn how to identify stress, how to talk to our volunteers who are struggling, as well as coping strategies and ways to reduce it.
Sessions will commence at 6:30pm with an additional session planned for Far North Coast lifesavers on June 25. Venue and time are yet to be confirmed.
Members of all local surf clubs are welcome to attend any of the information sessions
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.