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Tarja Malone, the national helpline manager for the Blue Knot Foundation, says people there is no shame in seeking help for vicarious trauma.

Anyone whose job revolves around caring for others is at risk of vicarious trauma and, as the drought drags on, a free workshop has been organised to help the regional helpers.

The Murrumbidgee Local Health District has helped to organise a series of free workshops in a bid to help rural workers who are supporting others experiencing drought-related distress and trauma. Many of these workers could need additional help for their own wellbeing, as they many not have mental health training.

The Wagga workshop will be held on Monday, May 27, presented by the Blue Knot Foundation.

Tarja Malone, the national helpline manager for the foundation, said anyone whose role was to support other people was at risk of being affected by vicarious trauma.

She said social workers, emergency personnel and health workers were among those who might be affected. "Oftentimes we don't believe how hearing stories can have an impact," Ms Malone said.

"It's not a sign of weakness to need help. If we are working in the trauma space, it is important not to ignore it. "A worker who isn't managing their own vicarious trauma may not be able to help others effectively."

Ms Malone said the affects of vicarious trauma varied between individuals and could have an impact that varied from low to high.

For people concerned that they themselves, or someone they care about, is being affected by vicarious trauma, Ms Malone said there were some things to look out for.

"There might be changes in relationships - people might be behaving differently in relationships with family, friends and colleagues," she said.

A worker who isn't managing their own vicarious trauma may not be able to help others effectively. Tarja Malone, Blue Knott Foundation

"Someone with VT might be avoiding certain conversations or certain people or there might be a change in someone's belief system or world views.

"Their thoughts might change and there might be changes in their body and brain function they might be edgy, they might develop depression,

"There might may be sleeping problems, alcohol and drug use, avoiding people, places or situations." For more details on the workshops, contact Larah

The original article was published here.

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“Blue Knot Foundation has a key role to play in the building of community capacity in care provision to those who have experienced childhood abuse and trauma in any environment.”

NIALL MULLIGAN Manager, Lifeline Northern Rivers

“I think Blue Knot Foundation is a fantastic support organisation for people who have experienced childhood trauma/abuse, for their families/close friends and for professionals who would like to learn how to more effectively work with these people.”

Psychologist Melbourne

“It's such a beautiful thing that you are doing. Helping people to get through this.”


“It was only last September when I discovered the Blue Knot Foundation website and I will never forget the feeling of support and empathy that I received when I finally made the first phone call to Blue Knot Helpline, which was also the first time I had ever spoken about my abuse.”


"At last there is some sound education and empathetic support for individuals and partners impacted by such gross boundary violations.”


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