Mental Health Strategy for First Responders

Date: 29-Mar-17 to 30-Mar-17
Location: CQ Functions Melbourne / Victoria / Australia
Category: Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals Conferences & Trade Fairs

The nature of emergency service work exposes first responders to increased levels of trauma, in addition to everyday personal and occupational stressors. However mental health stigma continues to prevent many from seeking help when they need it. The recent investigation into the mental health support available to Victoria Police indicated huge gaps in accessibility and internal engagement for mental health.
Because exposure to trauma is inevitable, it is crucial for emergency services leadership and management to take real action and develop a holistic strategy to address the mental health needs of employees.

How can policies, programs and practice be strengthened to tackle this issue?

Learn practical strategies to:

- Tackle stigma and lead cultural change
- Improve internal support structures according to best practice
- Build resiliency and drive help seeking behaviour for first responders
- Train management to implement prevention and early intervention initiatives
- Use digital technology to enhance mental health strategy
- Address differences for career and volunteer first responders

Who will attend?
First responder agencies including Police, Fire & Rescue, State Emergency Services, Ambulance Service and Defence.

Senior executives and commissioners responsible for:

- People and culture
- Strategic performance
- Human resources
- Operations

Operational management responsible for:

- Mental health
- Counselling
- Peer Support
- Wellbeing
- Health and wellbeing
- Critical incident response
- Employee assistance (EAPs)
- Psychological services
- Occupational health and safety

Attend to learn:
- Implement & evaluate mental health strategy

- Take a preventative approach to mental health

- Address the complex psychological needs of first responders

- Build leadership & staff capability


Graham Ashton, Alison Donohoe, Dr Samuel Harvey, Jason Killens

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