During your time at Street Law, you may come across material that is sensitive and/or confronting. Additionally, the clients that Street Law assist have been living through exceptionally difficult circumstances, and many as a result have mental and physical disabilities. Street Law’s acknowledges that it can at times be overwhelming, and strongly encourages all staff and volunteers to be mindful of their own well being.
Furthermore, the nature of the services we provide may also impact on your own well being. Examples of this include –
- Capacity – Street Law is often close or at full capacity for the amount of clients we can see, which means we may not be able to offer case work assistance to every client we interact with, which can sometimes be a hard fact to deal with.
- Time – You may feel pressure to complete tasks in a very short amount of time due to an upcoming court hearing.
- Expectations – Managing the expectations of clients or meeting the expectations of those around you can be very overwhelming.
- Emotions – Certain clients or situations may impact you emotionally, and interacting with clients may make you feel their situation personally.
- Compassion – Although compassion is a necessary trait to have in roles such as this, it can be hard to manage it without letting it negatively impact on your own mental health.
- ‘The right thing’ – Managing your own expectations about what you believe is the ‘right thing’ to do.
Sometimes you may not realise how affected you are by something until some days (or even weeks) later. Every staff member is happy to listen or share advice if you ever feel like you are impacted in any way.
While we generally work through from 9:00am – 5:00pm with a half an hour lunch break, feel free to take a break or have a walk if you are feeling overwhelmed by the content of your work.
Should you witness or feel impacted by any situation regardless of when the situation occurred, you can talk to any staff member and/or you can lodge an Incident Report with Street Law. Please ask our Office Coordinator for assistance with an Incident Report.
Positive coping skills include –
- Talking to someone to support you;
- Getting necessary information on situation;
- Practising mindfulness;
- Using calming self-talk;
- Focusing on doing something practical;
- Practising relaxation techniques (deep breathing, muscle relaxation);
- Spending time alone or with others;
- Engaging in positive distracting activities (sports, reading, hobbies);
- Closing eyes, meditating, rest; and
- Exercising and eating well.
Street Law has access to Converge, which is a free 24/7 counselling service that is available to all staff and volunteers.
You can call this service on 1300 687 327. Quote the account name as ‘Community Legal Centres Association WA Inc’ and the CLC using the service as ‘Street Law Centre WA’.
You can access a great resource with information on caring for your well being here, or browse through our Wellness folder located in the Knowledge Base on the server.