The Stand T.A.L.R program was created from a request from a number of prison officers seeking more informationspecific to their role within prisons addressing and acknowledging the unique challenges associated within the correctional environment. Stand T.A.L.R focuses on reducing the stigma of poor mental health among staff, the stigma of weakness and the notion of being unfit to function effectively or be of any use at all within a prison. Stand T.A.L.R promotes positive mental health among correctional staff by overcoming the stigma through normalisation of the topic including an engaging style of delivery encompassing a dynamic mix of humour and enthusiasm with a raw, honest and frank conversation about mental health.
Stand T.A.L.R was developed after the first annual WAPOU Respect your mental health seminar held in August 2017. Leading mental health organisations and industry stakeholders delivered presentations to an audience of 180 correctional staff and executive level management from the Department of Justice. Our seminar, focusing specifically on correctional staff, was the first of its kind in Australasia which generated significant interest within the industry across Australia and New Zealand. Presentations were delivered by BeyondBlue, the Black Dog Institute, WA Association for Mental Health, the Black Dog Ride, WorkSafe WA and the Department of Justice.
The integral component and beauty of this program is the honesty in which it is delivered and was created. Stand T.A.L.R was created by people who have worked within prisons and have been exposed to the pressures of the environment, current correctional staff were involved during design and development, management representatives from the Department of Justice approved the content and themes prior to rollout, and all statistics and information presented during the program are sourced from the leading mental health organisations who presented at our seminar. Stand T.A.L.R provides correctional staff with clear direction and practical steps to take proper action if they, their colleagues or members of their family require immediate professional support.
Since November 2017, Stand T.A.L.R has been delivered to 1,093 correctional staff, on 36 occasions in 18 prisons across Western Australia and New Zealand. The NZ Department of Corrections have adopted Stand T.A.L.R featuring its message in their new 2018 mental health strategy Your Mental Health Matters. NZ Corrections are supporting a national rollout of Stand T.A.L.R with the program being delivered in all NZ prisons over the next 18 months.