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Accidental Counsellor training for local police

At the Accidental Counsellor training, l-r: Lifeline Central West Manager of Crisis Support Services Jodie Williams, WNSW PHN Senior Project Officer Suicide Prevention Kirsty Smith, Superintendent Andrew Hurst, Officer-in-Charge of Central North Police District Inspector Trent Swinton, and Lifeline Central West Dubbo Centre Manager Cate Whiteley. Photo contributed

The Western NSW Primary Health Network (WNSW PHN) has joined with Lifeline and Central North Police District to deliver potentially life-saving Accidental Counsellor training to local general duties police officers and detectives.

Covering the Bogan, Bourke, Brewarrina, Cobar and Walgett Shires, officers of the Central North Police District, are often the first to respond to a mental health-related call requiring extra skills to ensure the safety of all parties.

Delivered in Bourke during March, police officers were trained in understanding common mental health conditions, the role of alcohol and drug use in a crisis, improving identification of situations Police are attending and what supports are required, as well as improving confidence, skills and knowledge when responding to events related to mental health, suicide, and self-injury. WNSW PHN Acting CEO, Robert Strickland, says the training will be a potential lifesaver.

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