First-Responders: Workplace Stress isn’t a Crime

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Lecture Overview

Paramedics and other first-responders may witness some of the most traumatic incidents in the line of duty. In this session, guest speaker former Victorian Police Detective, Narelle Fraser, shares her experience of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after working on some of the state’s most high-profile criminal cases, with the important takeaway message to recognise the signs and symptoms of workplace stress before it’s too late.

(Content warning: This lecture includes references to multiple, real-life violent crimes, disaster situations, sexual assault, crimes involving children and animals, suicide and other instances of mental illness, which may be distressing to some viewers. Viewer discretion is strongly advised.)


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Narelle Fraser View profile
Narelle was a member of Victoria Police for 27 years, 15 of those as a detective with homicide, rape, sex crimes, missing persons and child exploitation squads, specialising in sex offences and child abuse. She has been involved in many high profile investigations. In 2012 Narelle was diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) & was never able to return to Policing, however she overcame many adversities to become an accidental mental health advocate & keynote speaker on the challenges of first responders who face trauma & grief on a daily basis. Narelle shares the signs of stress she ignored, hoping they would magically disappear. Instead of disappearing, they increased to the point she couldn’t continue in the career she loved. The stigma of mental illness is alive & well in our community & Narelle’s hope is to help in ‘normalising’ rather than stigmatising, mental illness.
CPD time28m
First Published20 February 2021
Updated19 February 2021
27 February 2025
Learning Tools
Community Nursing
Critical Care
Defence / Armed Services