Police Moving Beyond Trauma

Mar 30, 2022 | Blog Articles

Former police officer and mental health advocate Esther McKay is encouraging current and former serving police to consider taking part in a 5-day residential program at the Quest for Life Centre in Bundanoon, NSW.

The Quest for Life Foundation offers a range of immersive residential programs for people living with post-traumatic stress symptoms and people experiencing burnout, illness, grief, or other challenges. These programs include Moving Beyond Trauma and Healing Your Life.

“Police should be mindful to consider being proactive with their mental health. You don’t have to be on Workers’ Comp or unwell. It’s best to take some respite and education before getting to a crisis point,” Esther says.

Esther served as a police forensic investigator from 1986 until 2001 after joining the force in 1984 and she is now the Quest for Life Foundation’s program development manager. Esther collaborates with the facilitation team who deliver the self-help programs offered at the Quest Centre.

Increasing Interest from Police for Moving Beyond Trauma

Esther said the Moving Beyond Trauma program has seen increasing interest from police officers who want to take positive steps to protect their wellbeing, often after a traumatic experience or a period of stress or burnout.

“Last week I had seven calls from police seeking support for their mental health, some serving, and some former police. On average, I get at least one call every week.

“When burnout and compassion fatigue creeps in, it’s usually at the three to five-year mark, so we often hear from constables through to sergeants level and beyond. New recruits may often feel bullet proof, but after a few years things can start to unravel.

But it’s not all “doom and gloom”, Esther says – things can and do get better.

“Remember, post trauma growth is achievable. With education and ongoing support, participants know how to achieve work/life balance and reclaim their lives.”

Subsidies are available for former and serving police to attend Moving Beyond Trauma via the Police Post Trauma Support Group.

If you’d like to book into a program or register interest, please call our Programs Team for a confidential chat on
1300-941-488 or email programs@infoquestforlife.com.au

Related Blogs & Resources: PTSD and CPTSD

Meet Esther McKay – Trauma Specialist: With a ‘lived’ experience of trauma after working for 17 years in the NSW Police specializing in police forensics, Esther founded the first PTSD support groups for police in NSW. 

Kate & Gidget – Animals Helping Humans: How a medically retired police officer’s dog has helped her heal.

About the Quest for Life Foundation

The Quest for Life Foundation is a charity that has helped more than 125,000 people over the last 33 years. Established in 1989 by Petrea King after a series of personal traumas, Quest provides educational self-help programs and community-based workshops that encourage, educate and empower people to improve their resilience and peace of mind during times of illness, depression, grief and trauma.

Quest encompasses an holistic approach to physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing. We are committed to making a positive difference in our community.

Funding Options for Residential Programs


Quest subsidises all privately or self-funded places to ensure the cost of our programs remains affordable to individuals. This allows us to reduce the fee from $4,400 to $2,800.

$2,200 Shared room (Early bird* $2,100 – must be paid 30 days in advance)
$2,800 Single room (Early bird* $2,700 – must be paid 30 days in advance)

Fees effective 1 July 2023.

Subsidies and Financial Help

Through generous grants, donations and fundraising, additional subsidies and financial help is available for a range of circumstances and anyone experiencing financial stress will be considered. We review each case individually and we do not means test. All applications are conducted via phone with a friendly member of the Programs intake team.


Quest is a registered NDIS Provider. Residential Programs can be funded through plan-managed and self-managed NDIS plans.


We work with Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) White Card or Gold Card holders to make applications to the DVA Health Approvals Board.

Worker’s Comp Insurance

Residential programs can be covered by workers compensation insurance on a case-by-case basis.

Call our Programs Advisers Today
1300 941 488