Emergency service workers need Bush Adventure Therapy too! A personal perspective.

Mark Cartner

Session type: Regular forum session
Session duration: 60 minutes

Key words: PTSD, Trauma,

Abstract

This session will be a personal perspective of dealing with stressful situations and how to manage the aftereffects. The use of bush adventure therapy has an important role in reducing the barriers between police and therapy.  We’ll do a broad overview of some of the relevant research into PTSD and list some pointers for professionals and carers on dealing with people in their care who have suffered PTSD.

About the presenter/s

A sworn police officer since 1999, Mark commenced working as a Detective in the Juvenile Aid Bureau from 2003. He has worked in the child protection field ever since, most of that time spent as an investigator in Cairns, Bundaberg and remote communities around Cape York. He achieved the rank of Detective Sergeant before taking a voluntary demotion to respond to a family related need.
Mark has experienced the highs and lows of an operational policing career, dealing with major investigations, child abuse investigations, police pursuits, child death coronial investigations, police shootings, all of which have given him insights into dealing with traumatic events.
Desiring a change from child abuse work in 2014, Mark decided to see if he could combine the skills he had gained in his work and volunteer life to create a crime prevention/child protection program. He located a supportive school principal who agreed to back him in his endeavours and thus the Walk of Life Program was born. Now working as a School Based Police Officer, Mark works at a high school full time putting his ideas into practice for the benefit of youth. This means that he exchanged a life spent investigating major crime, responding to natural disasters and experiencing the worst of humanity to working in a school yard experiencing what real chaos is all about. Some of his more cynical colleagues believe he has simply discovered a way to go camping and canoeing in work time, a claim Mark strenuously denies. These claims quickly fade when speaking to Mark and discovering his genuine commitment and enthusiasm in his work improving the lives of young people. Given the opportunity, Mark will talk all day about things he’s learnt and theories about child protection and crime prevention.
Mark is a qualified flatwater canoe instructor and bushwalking (uncontrolled environments) instructor.
He and his wife raise 4 kids. Although this leaves little time for hobbies, he still spends an inordinate amount of time surfing, playing guitar, 4 wheel driving, gardening and pretty much anything that involves the outdoors. Of Aboriginal, German and Scottish heritage, Mark has a lifelong interest in reconciling different cultures as exemplified by his own heritage.