To examine best practices in the UK, Canada and USA for peer support programs for emergency services volunteer first responders. Australian volunteer organisations are varied in their approach to peer support and do not have a standardised approach. Our volunteers are at high risk of exposure to critical and traumatic events that can lead to serious mental health issues. Peer support programs are an integral part of trauma management. To improve organisational approaches for the mental health of our vulnerable volunteer workers, it is necessary to analyse existing international best practices and transfer this research within the Australian context.
Keywords: Peer support, peer support program, first responders, emergency services, mental health, traumatic events, emergency first responders, volunteers, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), trauma risk management, TRiM, critical incident, stress management, CISM
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