With the establishment of a Local Government Reform Commission in 2007, the status of local government across Queensland was reviewed. As recommend, Noosa Council would be amalgamated with the neighbouring Maroochy and Caloundra Councils (Stronger Councils, 2007), to which Noosa Council rejected the proposal, threatening court action. Employees of Noosa Council are particularly vulnerable to the associated effects of a potential council amalgamation, as community members and as staff who face possible job loss or relocation. Indeed, as a number of Noosa Council employees are presenting with elevated stress levels, as a local clinical psychologist, I have been requested to conduct assessments and provide intervention as appropriate to stress-affected employees.
This report will proceed to outline stress situation facing Noosa Council employees with regards to a stress appraisal of the perceived threats associated with council amalgamation. As such, the situation facing Noosa Council employees can be considered a perceived threat as it requires the mobilisation of physical and psychological activity and involvement. Following the initial stress appraisal, attention will turn to a consideration of Hobfoll’s (1988, 1989) conservation of resources theory (COR) which details how individuals strive to obtain, build, and protect that which they value (e.g. resources).
As pertinent to the context, psychological stress occurs when resources are lost, threatened with loss, or if individuals fail to replenish resources after significant investment. In relating COR to the perceived threats associated with the council amalgamation, attention is brought to the relevant resources, conditions and energies as they pertain to Noosa Council employees. Finally, intervention strategies are considered with reference to Hobfoll’s (1988, 1989) COR framework and Bandura (1986) efficacy beliefs. These include refocusing and resource replacement as means for reframing...