Supporting our communities, and our own, in need

 

As I write this edition of First Word, much of our country is in flames; there have been lives lost, homes destroyed, communities devastated and many of our people in complete upheaval.

I’ve always lived in the city, and never had to experience the horror of a bushfire, or the loss of life or property because of a disaster like this. But the more of my friends and colleagues that I speak to, the more I hear the stories of tragedy and fear that these fires have caused.

Some of the most moving have been directly from patients. Examples of patients and their families losing so much, and being suddenly faced with crippling emotional and financial loss. It is absolutely heartbreaking for individuals and communities.

In our practice, we have pulled together, under the leadership of one of our senior staff, and looked at ways we could provide support to our patients and to our local communities. The details of this aren’t important. However the stories we will continue to hear and share demonstrate that we, individually and collectively, have a great amount to offer to our communities in need. At the APA, we have offered access to free counselling support to members, support with professional development costs, and ways to ease membership costs.

We will continue to evaluate the way in which we can best provide support to our members and their families. It has been humbling to see the activities of physiotherapists from many different places and the way they have rallied to this cause. This has ranged from making donations to easing the burden of access to services to providing burns management and first aid for people affected and in need.

If you have other ideas about how we can provide support, and make a short, medium and long-term impact to our fellow Aussies in distress, we would value your thoughts.

With my very best wishes to you and your families for an amazing, fulfilling, safe and happy 2020.

 

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