￼Soldiers and Sirens is registered charity organisation set-up by ex-police officers to assist current and ex-serving military and first responders through mental health support, acknowledgment of their contribution to society, inclusion in a unique and close-knit community.
We need YOUR HELP
to provide these services at no cost to those who desperately need it. We are regularly losing people to suicide on a regular basis and this is heartbreaking!
This is the sort of scene attended by first responders on a daily basis
Soldiers and Sirens is a new initiative targeting an identified issue in our community: first responder and military mental health, we are run by ex-first responders.
· One on one and group peer support;
· Out of hours support;
· Crisis assistance;
· Social events;
· And related services.
Helping past (regardless of how long ago they served) and present first responders and military personnel, suffering for a variety of reasons.
In addition, we want to create a safe community of social activities for this population to regain their sense of wellbeing, and the opportunity to stay engaged with post-treatment in order to help others.
These services will be provided exclusively by either ex-first responders or ex-military personnel who themselves have lived experience and an intimate understanding of the unique situations encountered by this demographic and their families daily.
Psychological services will be provided by suitably qualified health professionals registered with AHPRA who are themselves ex-serving.
There will be no limit to the number of counseling sessions or assistance provided to any one person as this will be assessed on a case by case basis.Please follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SoldiersandSirensWA/
A little about ourselves:
I am an ex-WA Police and ex-VIC Police officer. I joined back in 2008 with a desire to help people and thought how hard could it be! I soon realized this was no easy job, less than 6 months after leaving the academy I was first on the scene of traffic accident facing the death of 2 children and having to later take their parents to see and identify their bodies, something I will never forget. Over the years I could see a number of my friends and colleagues struggling with what we came to face on a daily basis, but no one ever asked for help for fear of the repercussions. In 2012 my friend and colleague committed suicide as he could no longer face seeing any more of these horrors, I wish I could say this is the only friend I have lost but unfortunately there have been a number of others since then that have taken their own lives or had it taken from them.
In late 2017 I was really struggling, the flashbacks and nightmares never seemed to stop, but I kept it hidden and kept pushing through. Eventually, I couldn’t hide it anymore and I had a complete breakdown. I couldn’t face going to work anymore and seeing so much death and destruction, my life completely changed, doing something as simple as going to the shops become a huge challenge. Shortly after stopping work I was diagnosed with complex PTSD and just like that my career was over and I haven't been able to work since. It took me at least 6 months to accept that this was not something that was just going to go away or something with an easy fix, I had to accept it was going to take a lot of hard work and will do for quite some time.
I am very lucky and thankful that I have an extremely understanding and supportive partner as without her I am not sure what would have happened, I know of so many others who have not been so lucky and haven’t made it. Earlier this year I started to study psychology to try better understand what I am going through and to be able to use this to help others moving forward.Danielle Baldock:
I am a Psychologist of 10 years and an ex-WA Police officer. Over the past 10 years, I have provided extensive trauma treatment for military personnel and first responders over this time.
Back in 2002 as an innocent, skinny blonde girl who graduated from a private girls’ school, and then UWA with a Psych degree, I decided that I was going to join the WA Police. I thought I knew Perth, after all, I grew up here, but I had only seen a very small pocket of it. So on my first day out on the road I was called a few horrific things by a 4-year-old child in Girrawheen, and I started to see the world differently.
Policing is a tough gig. Working side by side with paramedics and firefighters we fought tirelessly to keep the community safe, we gave our all, and we got bruised and battered in the process. But what we forgot to do, was look after ourselves.
In 2007 I lost one of my police squad brothers when a drunk driver ran him over and killed him as he tried to manage a domestic. Nationwide we’ve lost countless other first responders in blue, green and red over the years to suicide.
I was one of the lucky ones. Lucky because the sudden deaths, the road crashes, the domestics, and the other jobs I attended shift after shift after shift did not take their toll. And I say lucky because anyone can be affected, it is never about how tough you are.
What did affect me though was seeing my fellow officers suffering. Knowing that the culture tells you to “take a teaspoon of cement and harden up”, that you would be told you need “resilience training”, or that you were a bludger or soft and maybe needed a different job. Knowing that even in the worst of times no one trusted Health and Welfare, that the fear of being demoted, transferred, or medically retired stopped people seeking help. That people who had been to the Employment Assistance Program said when they told their least traumatic story the psychologist cried and said they weren’t sure they could help. There is currently no dedicated service delivery organisation specifically created to meet the needs of first responders.