From bushfires to floods, storms to road accidents, Emergency Service Workers serve our community 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure our safety. Their work requires much courage and resilience.

We all rely on their bravery and selflessness as our first point of call when emergencies hit and they deliver. That’s why investing in mental health support for our first responders is important.

The government is funding $11.5 million towards mental health services to support our first responders. Grant funding will be provided directly to reputable support organisations, such as the Black Dog Institute and Fortem Australia, to deliver mental health support to our first responders and their families.

I hope that in every first responder centre, there is a sign that says, ‘If you need help, call this number’. Mental health support services are a lifeline for many in our community. How much more so for emergency service workers and their families.

For more information about Fortem’s support program for first responders, please call 1300 33 95 94, or visit: fortemaustralia.org.au

I hope the first responders and their families in Gippsland are the first to embrace the opportunity to access these support services. They deserve it!

That’s just as I see it.