Counselling at Work
Workplace counsellors are expected to work within a short term framework, usually between two and six sessions, any further advice may be referred to specialist counsellors. The Gibraltar Fire & Rescue Service (GFRS) counsellor has an understanding of organisational cultures and workplace factors that might impact on his work. Domestic or personal issues can have a significant impact on work, issues such as relationship difficulties, bereavement or addiction, may have a knock-on effect on work; including a deterioration in concentration, increased accidents and higher absenteeism. Similarly, work-related stress, bullying and harassment, traumatic experiences on the fire-ground, organisational change and work performance can have an adverse effect on home life.
The GFRS Counselling Officer is Firefighter Alfred Rovegno as such his role is:
- To provide support to all GFRS members who may wish to discuss any work-related or home-related problems or worries.
- To advise Officers of the GFRS who have supervision and instructional responsibilities who maybe facing difficulties in maintaining professional standards.
- To provide an immediate support in a confidential setting, attendance would be voluntary and would not affect career progression or status at work.
- To promote well-being at work and provide an effective employee support with an interest in their psychological health.
The Counselling Officer will arrange courses and training on topics relevant to the difficulties and emotional experiences that could be encountered by GFRS personnel.
In situations where a member of the GFRS requires support from a higher qualified counsellor, then that member would be referred to the Gibraltar Health Authority, who through their medical screening procedure be entitled to see a specialist at the Clinical Psychology and Counselling Department.
How the process works
The GFRS Counselling Officer may be contacted directly, or through the Watch or Section Manager. Alternatively, a GFRS member may be approached by the Counselling Officer or Watch or Section Manager if they feel he needed their attention. Seeing the Counselling Officer is strictly voluntary and confidential. Sometimes only one session is enough for certain people to come to terms with any emotional difficulties they may be experiencing, but if more were needed, the Counselling Officer would then arrange to meet the individual for a number of sessions, usually six, in a confidential environment and at a location of their choice.