$11.5 million in mental health grants to support emergency service workers

The Australian Government is investing $11.5 million in mental health services to support emergency services workers and their families impacted by the unprecedented bushfire disaster of 2019-20.

The grant funding will be provided directly to specialist and reputable support organisations, Black Dog Institute and Fortem Australia Limited, to deliver mental health support directly to emergency services workers and their families.

Emergency services workers face extremely challenging and dangerous situations. These grants will ensure specialist support organisations can deliver much-needed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mental health support services to them and their families.

Establishing a support and mental health literacy network will encourage individuals in the emergency services sector to connect, talk, and seek help.

Attending the official launch of Fortem’s support program for first responder families in the Warragul Region, Member for Monash Mr Russell Broadbent emphasised the importance of addressing trauma suffered by emergency service workers.

“These are important and essential services. PTSD is one of the most prevalent injuries suffered by frontline workers whose job it is to respond to traumatic events, yet some people are reluctant to seek support.

“I hope that in every first responder centre, there’s some sort of sign that says if you need help, ring this number.

“I hope our first responders and their families are the first to respond to the opportunity to access these support services” Mr Broadbent said.

For more information about Fortem’s support program for emergency service workers, please visit the following website: https://fortemaustralia.org.au/ or phone 1300 33 95 94.