NSW launches mental health strategy for first responders
NSW is the first state in Australia to work with first responder agencies to develop a shared mental health and wellbeing strategy.
The Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy for First Responder Organisations in NSW:
- sets out the commitment of NSW first responder agencies to promote and protect the mental health and wellbeing of their staff and members
- combines promotion, prevention and intervention strategies
- looks at different ways to help across someone’s career, from recruitment to transition to retirement
- is a collaboration between the NSW Mental Health Commission, UNSW and the Black Dog Institute, Fire and Rescue NSW, the NSW Ambulance, NSW Police Force, NSW State Emergency Service and the NSW Rural Fire Service.
NSW Minister for Mental Health Pru Goward said that our first responders helped us when we were in need and it was our responsibility to help them when they were in need.
“The men and women who work and volunteer as first responders in NSW do so with dedication, professionalism and great courage on the frontline in disasters, accidents and a crisis. They are frequently exposed to traumatic events and this can take its toll,” Ms Goward said.
“The Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy for First Responder Organisations sets out the commitment of NSW first responder agencies to promote and protect the mental health and wellbeing of their staff and members. It represents a consensus among the agencies about what is required to meet this obligation.
“The strategy adopts an integrated approach to mental health, with different interventions aimed at mental health promotion, protection and intervention,” Ms Goward said.
In addition to the strategy, the NSW Government is supporting and expanding the UNSW/Black Dog Institute Workplace Mental Health Research Program with a further commitment of $1.5 million over three years.