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Jane ShakespeareWe are pleased to announce Associate Professor Jane Shakespeare-Finch, School of Psychology and Counselling, Faculty of Health from the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation who will speak at the 2016 Australian and New Zealand Search and Rescue Conference (ANZSAR); Land, Sea & Air held on 1 June 2016.

Dr Jane Shakespeare-Finch will speak on ‘Strategies to promote positive mental health outcomes in emergency service personnel’.

Emergency service workers, be they employed or voluntary, are at a higher risk of encountering stressful and traumatic situations than people who do not occupy those roles.

They are also at a higher risk of developing a stress or trauma related mental health issue such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In this presentation common psychosocial difficulties faced by people in emergency services will be outlined and ways in which organisations and individuals may adaptively deal with such challenges are addressed.

Expanding the view of mental health beyond what can go ‘wrong’ for an individual, the ways in which a person’s life may be transformed in positive ways following exposure to highly challenging and traumatic events will also be discussed. A comprehensive employee assistance program of international ‘gold standard’ will be outlined as an indicator of what an organisation may do to support the mental health of personnel, including volunteers. Additionally, strategies that individuals, organisations and mental health practitioners may engage in to promote positive outcomes are discussed.

Dr Jane Shakespeare-Finch is an Associate Professor in the School of Psychology and Counselling at Queensland University of Technology, the school’s Director of Research, and Leader of QUT’s Trauma, Resilience and Growth group.

Dr Shakespeare-Finch started her research career working with emergency service personnel 18 years ago and she continues to work with paramedics and police in the promotion of positive post-trauma outcomes.

She has also investigated the construction of trauma and post-trauma adaptation and growth in populations as diverse as survivors of sexual assault, cancer, bereavement, and refugees. Jane is currently Vice President of the Australasian Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, a member of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, and is an international affiliate of the American Psychological Association’s trauma division.

Jane has approximately 100 peer-reviewed works and is a regular presenter at national and international conferences.

The 2016 Australian and New Zealand Search and Rescue Conference (ANZSAR); Land, Sea & Air will be held at the Jupiters Hotel, Gold Coast on the 1 June 2016. To register for the conference CLICK HERE. Early bird registrations close on Monday 18th April so be quick to receive a discounted rate.

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