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Our participation in the Sustaining Resilience at Work research trial, focused on preventing occupational stress

Detainee Service Officers and Corrections Officers face a unique level of stress in their day-to-day work, dealing with a range of situational actions from detainees. In Australia we have worked with the Menzies Health Institute and the Executive Health Group of Griffith University to obtain greater insight into workplace stress, particularly in Immigration Detention Facilities and Prisons. The research trial, Sustaining Resilience at Work (StRaW), has been acknowledged by Insurance for New South Wales for its value in workplace stress prevention.

StRaW originated with the psychological health consultancy, March on Stress. Their research on peacekeepers found that those returning from con´Čéict preferred to speak to co-workers about lingering trauma because they would better understand the issues. StRaW was designed around that principle and introduced to Australia to help mitigate occupational mental health issues and boost the psychological resilience of staff dealing with challenging stakeholders in challenging circumstances.

Serco Officers who volunteered to be StRaW practitioners completed a training program in which they learned how to identify mental distress in their peers, engage with colleagues to help them work through their issues and recognise when additional support is required.

The StRaW program has many organisational benefits, including improved mental resilience and psychological safety, early detection and prevention of psychological injury and reductions in absence, incidents and claims.