Alongside strengthens support for frontline families
More than half a million people make up Australia’s frontline, working as Defence or Emergency Services personnel, where exposure to trauma is unavoidable and there is an increased prevalence of mental health problems.
Paige Hobbs and Sarah Yates know first-hand how challenging life at the partner of someone serving on Australia’s frontline can be, especially for Sarah supporting her husband with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Together, the pair set up Alongside – a not-for-for profit organisation that provides proactive education, support, PTSD services and a strong community for partners and families of Defence and Emergency Services personnel from recruitment through to discharge and beyond.
Since launching a year ago, co-founder Paige Hobbs said they have been overwhelmed by the response from hundreds of people who found themselves in a similar situation.
“It’s important to remember it’s not only the personnel, but the partners and families who serve our country in a different way, through supporting and adapting to the life of standing beside someone on the frontline,” she said.
“Using evidence-based research and best practice frameworks from across the world, we are working to upskill partners and families to strengthen the support platform for personnel, and enable the early intervention and treatment of mental health difficulties.”
Alongside works closely with the relevant organisations, personnel and their partners to close the gap in support through creating an integrated and comprehensive proactive approach to services and education surrounding frontline life and in particular the stressors it can bring.
Alongside is supported by national property group, Peet Limited, which last year celebrated its 120th anniversary year and marked the milestone by continuing the legacy of its founder, James Thomas Peet, who was a strong supporter of defence personnel and their families through the Boer War and the World Wars of 1914-18 and 1939-45.
Peet Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Brendan Gore, said it was an honour to provide encouragement and practical assistance to a vitally important organisation.
“Peet is proud to be continuing the legacy of our founder with such an innovative and committed organisation,” he said. “The positive impact of the work Alongside is doing to provide education and support services to defence and emergency services personnel and their families will be felt for generations to come.”
To find out more about Alongside and its programs, or to make a donation visit alongside.org.au.