Disaster Recovery, Violence, Trauma and the ongoing impacts of trauma on our communities.

One of the benefits of starting Three Chairs Consulting has been the opportunity to get involved in a variety of industries and understand the issues confronting them. At Three Chairs, we have a passion for defining complex problems, breaking them down and working out the best next steps. The recent tragic bushfires and news of horrific domestic violence incidents certainly left me feeling a little overwhelmed and uncertain how to help. So, it was hugely satisfying to be offered the chance to play a small part in supporting the Rotarian Action Group for Family Safety. This amazing team brought together a large group of experienced mental health professionals to discuss the complex problem of Disaster Response and Trauma Mitigation.

The consequences of trauma on society are significant. Whether the traumatic event is a large uncontrolled bushfire/flood, or an individual experience of violence, the ongoing psychological impacts reverberate through the affected individuals mental and physical lives and out deeper into our communities. Ongoing global trends such as climate change, pandemic threats and economic and political instability can be expected to continue to cause shocks that impact at the individual and personal level. How can we as a community build resilience and mitigate the impacts?

At the fire front of this crisis are an increasingly stretched line of dedicated mental health workers and organisations. Traditional health care structures and clinical approaches are not proving sufficient to contain or adapt to the current situation. This certainly qualifies as a complex problem, so it was inspiring for myself and the Three Chairs team to be able to facilitate a series of dialogues designed to provide the first steps on a pathway to new networks and to innovative tools that we hope will have a profound impact.

Resource scarcity is an issue increasingly common in all fields. Led by the expertise and knowledge of Dr Derek Farrell, we looked at how EMDR is being adapted around the world, to meet the global burden of trauma. He also highlighted the need to build capacity at the front line. While the power of these approaches appears to be game-changing, innovation without organisation can have limited impact, and accordingly these passionate teams turned their minds to their network; to combining their voices to grow advocacy and influence; co-ordination and connection with communities and leveraging the Rotary network; harnessing the power of partnerships and sponsoring of targeted effective education programs.

Turning a seemingly overwhelming challenge into a series of achievable, measurable and focussed next steps – this is what we turn up for every day at Three Chairs. I’ll be watching this one unfold with a great deal of interest, this is an inspiring group of people that are going to change the world we live in.