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Frequently asked questions: RAFE Peer Support Program

Frequently asked questions

The RAFE Peer Support Program, a collaboration with the Retired Ambulance Association of Victoria (RAAV), is an extension of the existing Ambulance Victoria Peer Support Program. The program works closely with the Peer Support Program Coordinator and is staffed by volunteers who are former employees.

AV is committed to supporting individuals and their families throughout the life cycle of their career. While working for AV is a rewarding career, it also comes with a range of unique challenges. We don’t accept that physical injury, psychological trauma and poor mental health are an expected outcome of our jobs. Workplace and personal stressors can impact anyone within our organisation, and as such, we provide assistance to all our retired and former operational, corporate staff and first responders beyond their careers with AV.

Peer Support recognises that individuals can experience times of emotional distress, work related or personal stress, and sometimes need the support of a peer who can relate to the challenges they experience during their transition to retirement or following their separation from AV.

Peers can provide early intervention reducing the stigma of seeking help and refer people to other internal or external referral pathways to assist them navigating the emotions and challenges they are experiencing. The volunteer RAFE Peer Support Program is an extension of this support.

Any former employees, including operational, corporate and first responders, can access the RAFE program, as well as their immediate family members. The program is available state-wide.

All retired and former employees have access to peer support and referral pathways to other services as required and can access this service by contacting RAFE.peersupport@ambulance.vic.gov.au

AV provides training to the RAFE Peer Support volunteers. It is important to note that Peer Support volunteers are not counsellors and don’t make psychological assessments. They are people who genuinely care about others and have great communication skills. They can also refer you on to other services as required.

Email the volunteer RAFE Peer Support Coordinator at RAFE.peersupport@ambulance.vic.gov.au and they will be in touch.

The program is open between 9am-5pm, seven days a week. Support required outside of these hours can be provided by AV’s Peer Support program.

If you are in crisis – please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 224 636. If you or a friend are in urgent need of assistance, please dial 000.

For all ‘emergency’ situations call 000. If it is not an emergency but cannot wait until the next day, phone 1800 MANERS (1800 626 377) and select option 1 (Peer Support).

Volunteers can meet you in person, however it’s preferable that they meet you at a coffee shop, park or other publicly accessible location, if a face to face contact is required.

The volunteer RAFE Peer Support Program provides a referral service for anyone seeking assistance.

Retired and former employees have access to the volunteer RAFE Peer Support members, and other services such as Chaplaincy, AV’s 24-hour VACU counselling line and, if necessary, access to VACU clinicians for six sessions in the 12 months following separation from AV. Referral to these services will be considered in conjunction with other services readily available in the community.

Please register your interest with the Peer Support Program Coordinator at Peer.Support@ambulance.vic.gov.au and you will be contacted when positions become available.