First veteran-trained PTSD assistance dog comes home to Canberra | The Canberra Times


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A local not-for-profit service that employs veterans to train psychiatric assistance dogs for other veterans has placed its first dog in Canberra after last year joining a federal veterans program. Labrador Belle has moved home with her handler Ben Jones, after the pair completed their intensive training program and passed the public access test. She’s the first to graduate from Integra Service Dogs Australia as part of the federal government’s Psychiatric Assistance Dog Program. Mr Jones thanked the veteran-founded service for helping manage his post-traumatic stress disorder. “They have worked closely with me to match me with a highly suitable and intelligent Labrador and developed us as a bonded team,” Mr Jones said. The 18-month training Belle received at Integra helped give her insight into Mr Jones’ condition and his unique triggers, allowing him to reclaim him place in the community and rebuild his life. Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester welcomed Belle to the ranks of the assistance dogs who are helping change the lives of veterans and their families. “The dogs provided through this program, like Belle, play an important role for veterans and their families living with PTSD as they are trained to the individual needs of their veteran and perform specific tasks to help them with their recovery and general wellbeing,” Mr Chester said. “These dogs have such a profound impact on the day-to-day lives of our veterans and it is so encouraging to hear the stories of success and of veterans overcoming challenges with their dogs by their sides. “Thank you for your service, Ben. I wish you and Belle all the very best on your journey together.” Integra is currently training 38 assistance dogs for veterans across ACT and NSW. Last year Integra joined three other providers, who have between them trained 21 assistance dogs for veterans across Australia under the federal program. An additional 89 dogs are still in training. Veterans who have a diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder can access the assistance dogs program via dva.gov.au/dogs Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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Why Premier is right to ask PM for assistance


Federal Tourism Minister Dan Tehan insists he’s itching to get back to Magnetic Island with his family.

“My grandparents went for their honeymoon on Magnetic Island, off Townsville, nearly 100 years ago,” Tehan said this week.

“And ever since then, the family have been travelling, every winter, the family heads up there to holiday, uncles, aunts, you name it.

“And it’s a wonderful destination, and, you know, I’m incredibly fond of Magnetic Island because of that.”

Yet if Tehan and the rest of the Federal Government don’t stop their recalcitrance about further support for Queensland tourism, there may not be much of an industry left to visit on Magnetic or at many of the Sunshine State’s other idyllic destinations.

For the past week, Tehan and his counterparts in the NSW Government have been hopping into Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk for having the temerity to suggest federal support schemes such as JobKeeper may have to be extended beyond March to ensure many Queensland tourism operators remain afloat.

They’ve blamed Palaszczuk’s approach to border closures for the industry’s plight and suggested simply opening the door to domestic visitors will ensure Queensland’s tourism industry bounces back.

Is it the federal government’s role to bail out Qld’s tourism industry?

“Queensland, closed one day, asking someone else to pick up the tab the next,” NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet quipped.

That’s a bit rich from Perrottet, considering he’s overseeing a budget where gross debt is heading towards $200 billion and 170 per cent of revenue, far more than Queensland’s current figures.

“New South Wales, open one day, asking future generations to pick up the tab the next” should be his motto.

The fact is that it’s utter bunkum for Tehan, Perrottet and others to insinuate that Queensland’s tourism operators can survive off what they eke from the domestic market. If JobKeeper is completely removed while Australia’s international borders remain closed, many businesses simply won’t survive.

Most at risk are ventures geared to international tourists.

They cannot just “pivot” to the domestic market. Think souvenir stores, duty-free outlets and backpackers accommodation.

They’ll be others also, like theme park attractions and boat operators, who cannot get the scale required from Australians holidaying at home to turn a profit.

Once these businesses are gone they won’t be back in a hurry and that will damage the tourism offering of these destinations for years to come.

The most extreme example of this is far north Queensland where there are an estimated 10,000 businesses with employees on JobKeeper.

In Cairns, 36 per cent of the tourism dollars the city brought in during 2019 was from international visitors, who were predominantly from China, Japan and the US.

According to the latest Tourism and Events Queensland statistics, international expenditure was down almost 60 per cent over the year to September, which includes almost six months when Australia’s borders were open.

Tourism operators in Brisbane (-45.8 per cent), the Gold Coast (-53.6 per cent) and the Whitsundays (-47 per cent) face a similar plight.

The return of the Tehan family to Magnetic Island and other Australians attracted to Queensland by the Federal Government’s new $5 million marketing campaign might help restore the $1 billion a month in domestic tourism dollars that been missing from the market.

Yes, a more consistent approach to the border by the State Government will help give people confidence that they can confidently book a Queensland getaway.

But that will never replace the multibillion-dollar hole in the international tourism market.

When Australia’s borders might reopen is still anyone’s guess.

Much depends on the effectiveness of vaccines, specifically whether evidence emerges that they not only stop people getting severely sick from COVID-19, but prevent the virus from being transmitted.

“If it indeed does stop transmission between people, then that could be quite be a game-changer, but that will not be evident for some time yet,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said this week.

Clearly, that evidence is not going to emerge before March when JobKeeper is removed and businesses start having to pay for their own staff.

Many industries might have already been weaned off the supplement and returned to operating under near normal conditions.

But for Queensland tourism operators who survive off the dollars of international visitors, the months between JobKeeper ending and their market returning will be dire.

Surely the price of a temporary extension specifically aimed at international tourism destinations would be much less than the long-term cost of kicking back on a tropical island and allowing businesses to collapse.

 

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk speaks while her NSW counterpart Gladys Berejiklian looks on.

 

 

 

Originally published as Why Premier is right to ask PM for assistance



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Assistance dog is life-changing for Bundaberg teen Summer Farrelly, who lives with autism


For Bundaberg teenager Summer Farrelly, the simple act of walking into a shop to buy milk can be overwhelming and exhausting.

The 13-year-old lives with autism and can feel overwhelmed when she is out of her comfort zone — but her new four-legged friend is changing her life.

Onyx, a two-year-old black labrador, helps Summer stay calm and grounded when she is struggling.

“Onyx, to start off with, is a mirror,” Summer said.

“What he does is, he can identify my emotions before I identify them, which means he can tell me how I’m feeling, so I can regulate myself better and from that information I can work out whether I need to leave or if I’m doing too much.”

The “eyes focus” command helps Summer connect with Onyx.(ABC Wide Bay: Brad Marsellos)

Hatching a new friendship

Animal-assisted therapy has helped Summer manage her autism since she started working with chickens at the age of nine in a bid to better understand human behaviour and her emotions.

She developed an autism therapy program called Chickens to Love, but as she grew older felt she needed a companion animal support her when she was out in the community.

“I’m on high alert and worried about absolutely everything and anything that can happen,” Summer said.

“He’s a distraction, a thought-blocker.

A card with the words "sorry I am unable to stop and talk. Oynx and I are working" written on it with a young girl and dog.
This card helps explain why Onyx can’t stop for a pat and chat.(ABC Wide Bay: Brad Marsellos)

‘This age group is the future’

Assistance dogs are different from companion or therapy animals in that they are certified and protected under the disability discrimination act.

Once they are trained, they have public access rights to shops, cinemas and public transport.

They are used to help people living with a variety of physical or mental disabilities and symptoms.

Claire Turner, a former canine explosive detection handler who now trains assistance dogs and works with their owners, saw Summer receive three Animal Therapies Ltd awards for her chicken-assisted learning program in early 2020.

Ms Turner thought Summer would make a perfect candidate for the assistance dog program and coordinated the placement of Onyx with Summer while mentoring her.

While it is usually more common for the parents of young people to be the handlers of the dogs, Summer’s experience with animals showed she had the insight to manage the program herself.

“We work a lot with older people, but my passion with canine assistance is to mentor the next generation,” Ms Turner said.

“Summer and this age group is the future.

Getting to bed on time

Onyx does not only help Summer when she is out and about.

The dog has been trained to observe her physical and mental signals and alert her to changing behaviours — even down to making sure she goes to bed on time and puts her phone away.

“If I don’t come with him and lay on my bed he will bark — he won’t listen to anything I say because he is telling me to go to bed,” Summer said.

“When I go to bed with any sort of device, he will bark until I put the device down because he wants me to close my eyes and sleep.

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ACT border restrictions: Call goes out for army, SES assistance | The Canberra Times


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ACT’s State Emergency Services personnel have been asked to support police in managing the roadside checks and helping to prevent the spread of coronavirus into the territory from current “red zones” in NSW. The officer in charge of Monday’s roadside operational response, Superintendent Rohan Smith, confirmed that a request had been made for staffing assistance with the ACT Emergency Services Agency and the Australian Defence Force, but indicated that the SES would be the most likely service to provide initial support. As heavy rain sheeted down on Monday afternoon, dozens of police, including officers from Traffic Operations, general duties, and even the AFP’s protective services division – the latter usually used to patrol the airports and embassies – were out on duty at roadside border control points on major arterials leading into Canberra. Sutton Road, which links Pialligo Avenue with the Federal Highway, and the Federal Highway itself, were the two entry points being checked on Monday afternoon, with a lengthy hour-long traffic delays being experienced on the main inward southbound arterial into Canberra. The border checkpoints are raised and lowered in accordance with a police operational strategy, similar to that of roadside random breath testing stations. At 8.30am on Monday, the southbound lanes of the Federal Highway were clear and open, with the traffic management equipment stacked in the median strip ready for deployment. Seven hours later, the checkpoint was in place and the traffic at a crawl. ACT police have been handed a difficult task of managing the border controls, with the current staff at the checkpoints redeployed from other duties and supplemented by 31 probationary officers straight out of the AFP College at Barton. As the border duty days climb, the major challenge for ACT police will be staffing management, with officers required to be stood down before accumulating too many excess hours and incurring expensive overtime. Meanwhile, the demand for officers at the usual community crime and policing scenes, such as burglaries, stolen property, shoplifting and property damage, continues undiminished across the territory’s patrol zones. However, relief may come as early as Tuesday, when the ACT government will announce whether border restrictions to the coronavirus “red zones” of Greater Sydney, the Central Coast and Wollongong will remain in place. “ACT Policing is currently talking to the ADF and ESA about a range of strategies and support personnel that might be able to assist us with this,” Superintendent Smith said. Under current ACT Health restrictions, any ACT residents who have been in these zones and are travelling back into the territory need to fill out the online declaration before they return and enter quarantine, also monitored by the police, for 14 days. Any ACT residents returning home from outside the zones can enter without quarantining. Non-ACT residents who have been in the same zones are not permitted to enter the ACT without an exemption. Superintendent Smith described the police operational plans for managing the border checkpoints as “scaleable” in nature and “not dissimilar” to those strategies used for roadside random breath testing. While he wouldn’t be drawn on when and where the checkpoints would be set up, the focus was on roads to the north of Canberra given that was where the current NSW COVID-19 hotspots were located. “We will be anytime, anywhere, anyplace and cover a range of points at any given time,” he said. “We are catching people trying to sneak through; there are people without exemptions trying to enter the ACT. [Motorists] are being turned around.” By Monday mid-afternoon, ACT police had “turned around” 147 people that didn’t have valid exemptions to enter the ACT, and 219 ACT residents entering the territory from the affected area had their details recorded and gone into mandatory quarantine. About 4500 vehicles have been checked on the Federal Highway over the past few days. READ MORE: “We are providing a level of risk mitigation regarding COVID compliance,” he said. The issue for police and ACT Health is that any driver keen to avoid quarantine, with access to onboard apps and a reasonable knowledge of the ACT’s road systems would not find it difficult to “rat-run” a route into the territory. Police admitted there were between 60-70 routes into the ACT from NSW. Supt Smith said “on the first day or so” the restrictions had caught some travellers unawares but that situation had now changed.

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Landslide on the Benambra-Corryong Road requires State Emergency Service assistance | The Border Mail


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ANOTHER major landslide has taken place in the Upper Murray. Corryong State Emergency Service Unit members attended the latest landslide on the Benambra-Corryong Road at the weekend. It took place about 75km from Corryong in an area which suffered damage in last summer’s bushfires. IN OTHER NEWS “The landslide caused water to run down the road and subsequently eroded the culvert away,” the Corryong SES Unit Facebook page said. “We made (the area) safe and handed over to VicRoads contractors when they arrived. Albury and Tallangatta recorded 20 millimetres of rain in the 24 hours to 9am yesterday. Late yesterday, the Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe thunderstorm warning including the possibility of large hailstones and heavy rainfall for the North East and East Gippsland forecast districts. It includes the Upper Murray along with Wodonga, Wangaratta, Orbost, Buchan and Mallacoota.

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Police seek public assistance to identify alleged fraudster | The Canberra Times


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The police are asking the public if they recognise a man caught on CCTV after a car was broken into and credit cards taken. They allege that on Friday the man “stole a number of items including a bank card from a white Holden Astra at the Red Hill summit carpark”. “The alleged offender smashed the car’s window before a bag containing a wallet and keys was stolen,” police said. Officers said the alleged offender was later captured on CCTV making a number of fraudulent transactions totaling more than $500 using a stolen bank card. He was seen at two petrol stations and a supermarket around 6.30pm on the same day. They say the man was driving a stolen silver Subaru Liberty bearing ACT registration YOL41P. Police say they are yet to identify him. They are seeking the public’s help: “Anyone with information that could assist police is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or via the Crime Stoppers ACT website. Please quote reference 6678267. Information can be provided anonymously.”

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Lions veteran lending assistance to Broncos playmakers


Brisbane Bronco Tom Dearden is looking to add another string to his bow, taking on Brisbane Lion Daniel Rich as a kicking coach.

Rich, who is known for his raking left boot, visited Red Hill to offer tips to Dearden and Broncos playmakers Brodie Croft and Tyson Gamble.

SEN’s Pat Welsh explained how it wasn’t a one-off visit for the Lions defender.

“As it turns out, according to the press he has been working with Tom Dearden for some time now, for a few weeks,” Welsh said on SEN’s Pat and Heals.

“He was in there yesterday and the cameras happened to catch him working with the halves.”

Rich was reportedly taking Dearden through hand-to-foot kicking drills, and Welsh explained how an AFL and NRL star combined in a similar situation last year.

“Trent Cotchin did some work with Nathan Cleary last year,” Welsh said.

“And his kicking game was one of the highlights of the NRL season.”

Cleary’s kicking ability vastly improved throughout the 2020 season, with Andrew Johns describing the halfback’s Game 2 Origin kicking performance as the best he’d seen from a New South Wales half.

While Dearden is yet to reach Cleary’s level, drastically improving his kicking game may elevate the 19-year-old’s play to new heights in 2021.







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Woman charged over alleged bushfire and COVID-19 assistance fraud – Hunter Valley – 16 News


A woman will face court today after being charged with alleged fraud regarding bushfire and COVID-19 support recovery grants.

Strike Force Roche was established by several police districts within the Northern Region to investigate alleged fraudulent claims for bushfire disaster relief and small business grants through government agencies.

Police will allege in court that, between Thursday 12 March and Sunday 13 September 2020, a woman, aged 31, fraudulently applied for 34 combined Bushfire and COVID-19 Government Grants. A total of 11 were granted and the woman received $104,000.

Police will also allege the woman attempted to obtain a further $258,000 in grants which she was not entitled to.

Following extensive inquiries, police attended a home in Aberdare about 1.20pm yesterday (Friday 27 November 2020), where they arrested the woman.

She was taken to Cessnock Police Station and charged with dishonestly obtain financial benefit by deception (x16).

She was refused bail and will appear in Newcastle Local Court today (Saturday 28 November 2020).

Investigations under the strike force are ongoing across multiple police districts in the Northern Region.



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ASX follows Wall Street gains as Donald Trump supports new coronavirus assistance before election



The Australian share market has lifted in early trade on hopes of a COVID-19 stimulus deal in the United States.

US President Donald Trump backed a new deal on Tuesday (local time) and the House Speaker’s deputy chief of staff said an agreement was closer.

At 10:30am AEDT, the ASX 200 put on 0.3 per cent or 17 points to 6,201.

Oil stocks, banks and miners were among the gainers and consumer and healthcare stocks led the falls.

The All Ordinaries index added 0.3 per cent to 6,414.

Nickel miner Western Areas was up 3.5 per cent, followed by Virgin Money (+3.3pc) and real estate firm Dexus (+3.3pc).

Data centre operator Megaport led the falls on the ASX 200, down 5.8 per cent to $15.81.

Avita Therapeutics fell 2.8 per cent and Graincorp lost 2.9 per cent.

The Australian dollar fell to 70.22 US cents overnight on the prospect of lower interest rates.

At 10:30am AEDT, it had come off its lows and was buying about 70.55 US cents, up 0.1 per cent.

Brent crude oil edged up on stimulus hopes, but the threat to demand from rising coronavirus cases worldwide and increased Libyan output kept prices from moving higher.

It rose to $US43.16 a barrel.

Spot gold rose 0.3 per cent to $US1,911.20 an ounce as the greenback fell on the prospect of new coronavirus stimulus.

Wall Street rises on renewed hope of stimulus deal

Earlier, US stocks had increased on renewed optimism that Congress could reach a deal with the Trump administration over a new coronavirus relief package.

Mr Trump said he would accept a deal worth more than $US2.2 trillion despite opposition from Republicans in the Senate.

The Democratic Party Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi wants a $US2.2 trillion package, but the White House had pushed for $US1.8 trillion in economic aid.

However, Mr Trump appears to have changed his tune, telling Fox News: “I want to do it even bigger than the Democrats.”

Ms Pelosi’s spokesman Drew Hamill said she and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had moved closer to agreement on new stimulus before next month’s presidential election during a 45 minute discussion.

Ms Pelosi had set today as the deadline for a deal and the pair will resume talks tomorrow.

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Earlier Ms Pelosi told Bloomberg TV that she was confident that agreement could be reached.

Republican senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said if a deal is reached and passed by the House of Representatives, then the Senate would consider it.

“I’m aware that discussions continue between the President and the speaker about a larger package,” he told reporters.

“Obviously, if that were to come over, we’d have to consider it. And would consider it.”

The news saw US stocks rally but they came off their highs in late trade with some analysts sceptical about the prospect of a deal.

The Dow Jones index rose 0.4 per cent to 28,309, the S&P 500 put on 0.5 per cent to 3,443 and the Nasdaq gained 0.3 per cent to 11,517.

Google shares gain despite lawsuit

Shares in Google parent Alphabet put on 1.4 per cent to $US1551.08 despite the US Department of Justice launching a case against the internet giant for allegedly using its market power to unlawfully dominate web searches and search advertising.

But Neil Campling from Mirabaud Securities in London said it was too late to take action to limit Google’s market position.

“It’s like locking the proverbial door after the horse has bolted,” he said.

“You can’t simply unwind a decade of significant progress, or create new alternative powerhouses or tech ecosystems out of thin air.”

Netflix runs out of pandemic steam

More companies have released their third quarter earnings results, with Netflix reporting after the closing bell.

The streaming company posted its weakest rise in new subscribers in four years amid more competition in the streaming market, the easing of pandemic restrictions and as live sports returned to television.

Netflix gained 2.2 million paid subscribers globally during the September quarter, missing analyst estimates of 3.4 million.

Its shares dropped 6 per cent in after-hours trading.

From January to March, Netflix saw 15.8 million new subscribers as people stayed home at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

It said the results reflected the big surge in customers earlier in the year.

Revenue rose by more than one fifth to $US6.44 billion in the third quarter and net profit increased to $US790 million.

Property and accident insurer Travelers Companies gained 5.6 per cent as it beat quarterly profit expectations.

International Business Machines (IBM) posted double digit quarterly growth from cloud revenue.

But it said customers had deferred some projects because of the uncertain economic outlook.

Revenue from the cloud business rose 19 per cent to $US6 billion in the third quarter.

Its shares fell 6.5 per cent after it said total revenue fell nearly 3 per cent to $US17.56 billion over the quarter.

Consumer firm Procter & Gamble said sales of home cleaning products jumped by one third because of coronavirus.

Its shares rose 0.4 per cent.

European shares lose ground over coronavirus lockdowns

European stocks fell as worries about coronavirus restrictions and Brexit offset optimism from strong earnings, including from Swiss bank UBS.

Italy, Spain and Britain imposed curbs to limit the spread of new coronavirus cases that threaten to derail a budding economic recovery.

And the European Union and the UK struggled to make progress on a trade deal to avoid a disruptive departure for Britain from the EU.

In London, the FTSE 100 put on nearly 0.1 per cent to 5,889, the DAX in Germany fell 0.9 per cent to 12,737, and the CAC 40 in Paris dropped 0.3 per cent to 4,929.



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How Employee Assistance Programs Can Help Your Whole Company Address Racism at Work


Executive Summary

With protests against racism continuing around the world, many workplaces are finally attempting to challenge — and dismantle — their own systems that uphold racist views and policies. For many companies, well-positioned Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) that hold strong relationships with workplace leaders can be part of the solution. The author recommends six actions for EAP professionals, programs, and the workplaces they support.

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It may surprise some employers to know that when employees experience racism and/or other forms of discrimination and oppression, one of the places they can turn for help is their Employee Assistance Program or EAP. While EAPs are thought of more often for use by employees for short-term counseling and referrals to help employees manage personal problems so that they don’t interfere with work performance and productivity, it is important to remember that EAPs also provide workplaces with services including organizational assessment, management consultation and strategic crisis prevention and response. It is precisely because of this mix of individual and organizational level of services that EAPs are in a unique position to help employees work through the trauma of racism and to provide workplace leaders with an invaluable insider view of complex workplace problems, including racism.

As a professor and chair of the only Masters in Social Work (MSW) program with a focus on preparing graduates for careers in the field of Employee Assistance, I have received numerous calls over the past several months from employers asking for advise and consultation regarding how they can work to challenge — and dismantle — their own systems that uphold racist views and policies.

Additionally, I have heard from many EAP managers and counselors, also asking how their EAPs can play a more significant role in helping workplaces respond to systemic racism. On more than one occasion, EAP professionals have confided that they felt powerless after working one-on-one with an employee who is suffering effects of racism. Simply offering stress management support did not feel adequate, and they lacked a line of communication to management to report the need for systemic change.

Similarly, EAP managers are receiving calls from managers and supervisors whose employees are requesting workplace meetings to discuss issues or race and racism. And workplace leaders are asking how their EAPs can play a bigger role in helping to influence system-level change to combat racism.

In response, I’ve developed a list of six things employers need to do to build a more effective partnership with their EAPs that will not only support individual employees during this period of massive social change, but also support managers and supervisors and help to ensure meaningful and sustained long-term reform.

1. Encourage a data-driven approach to customized EAP services.

A data-driven approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion within our EAPs and broader workplaces is critical if we are to make real impact in dismantling systemic racism. You need to know who is — and isn’t — using your EAP. You cannot identify service utilization gaps without data. Is your EAP collecting data on race, ethnicity, income, and gender identity?  How are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) who sought out EAP services being helped? What are the outcomes? Data can be reported to the workplace in the aggregate so that individual employee demographics and identities are protected and kept anonymous from employers.

2. Support an EAP counselor and affiliate network that is responsive to your workplace.

Employers should encourage EAPs to conduct an audit of their staff and counselors — not just to see if they are accepting certain health insurance plans, but to see who is providing the services. EAPs often ask if clients have a preference for counselor gender and language, but is your EAP asking clients for a preference with regard to race and/or ethnicity? And if they did ask, could the EAP realistically meet their preference? Are EAP counselors trained to provide culturally responsive and culturally relevant services?

In addition to auditing the EAP counselor/affiliate network, take a good look at the EAP marketing and promotional materials that are being shared with your employees. Are these materials inclusive and do they provide an accurate reflection of the racial demographics of your workplace, in addition to other characteristics? If not, work in partnership with your EAP to support revising materials, both in print and online, to better align with your employee demographics.

3. Encourage managers and other leaders to take advantage of the EAP for themselves.

Many managers and supervisors are finding themselves eager to learn more about racism and implicit bias, but fearful to admit what they don’t know or to make a mistake. Assume that they would all benefit from education and consultation. EAPs can play a role by equipping leaders with resources so they can do their own learning and introspection, and feel more competent in their abilities to lead difficult conversations about race. Encourage managers and workplace leaders who have used EAP services in the past to share their story. Demonstrating leadership buy-in and commitment is one of the best ways to increase EAP utilization within a work organization.

4. Create a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion advisory committee that includes your EAP.

A diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) advisory committee can help companies consider their public stance against racism and how it helps — or hurts — employees. The EAP should work in partnership with this committee to assess needs and help leaders create answers without placing unfair burden on BIPOC. Additionally, the EAP can provide de-identified examples of employees’ first-hand accounts of racism to help workplace leaders understand the deep impact of racism within a workplace and potential points throughout the work organization for support, intervention, and change.

5. Recognize racism as trauma.

Racism is a form of trauma, and EAPs need to apply a trauma-informed approach to all of their work, actively working to resist re-traumatizing a person or community when providing support and providing culturally responsive counseling and support services to individuals who have been traumatized by racism. PsychHub created a list of resources that serve as a starting point to inform workplaces about how to provide more trauma-informed and culturally responsive care to employees. Share this list with your EAP and ask what type of advanced training providers have completed with regard to antiracist clinical practice? Encourage, and even financially support through increased reimbursement rates for services, when possible, this type of training for your EAPs and other providers within the workplace.

6. Establish a plan for ongoing feedback to sustain this important work.

Create, or re-activate, an EAP advisory board within each workplace to meet with the EAP regularly and communicate about trends in the workplace, gaps in services needs, and overall response to EAP and related program. Informed and active EAP advisory boards can help EAPs stay abreast of changes that are coming, and board members can help to promote and minimize stigma about using EAPs and related services when they truly understand their potential value. Ensure that people on that board represent different departments, but also represent workplace demographics. Be sure these boards provide a safe and eventually a “brave space” where white people and BIPOC can speak up regarding challenges and injustices that won’t be denied or pushed aside. Design these spaces so that when the hashtags and protests of the current movement end, the work will continue, and EAPs and their client companies will be held accountable for meaningful change and reform.

With protests against racism continuing around the world, well-positioned and well-supported EAPs that hold solid relationships with workplace leaders can be part of the solution. But EAPs and workplaces need to work in partnership to support these goals and visions for organizational change. This list is not exhaustive, but the recommendations serve as starting points on how EAPs can have an even greater role in supporting workplaces to be more antiracist.

Dr. Kyla Liggett-Creel, PhD, LCSW-C, University of Maryland, School of Social Work contributed to this article.



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