12 September 2019
Today is R U OK Day, a great opportunity to check in on our friends, family and workmates to see if they’re doing O.K. This is important for all Victorians, and especially critical in the emergency services, where our people see and deal with challenges on a daily basis.
Victoria is placing a strong emphasis on mental health in emergency services, and great strides have been made in providing the right support and resources to everyone that needs it.
There are a number of facts that show we still have a long way to go in improving the mental health of the emergency services community:
• Nearly 40% of emergency service employees are diagnosed with a mental health condition (compared to the 20% of all adults in Australia).
• Emergency service workers are more than twice as likely to report having suicidal thoughts and three times more likely to have a suicide plan compared to all adults in Australia.
• More than half of all employees in emergency services are likely to experience a traumatic event that will deeply affect them during their work.
• 46% of employees reported that they think others their organisation would not want to work with someone with anxiety or depression on the same team as them.
R U O.K Day follows yesterday’s World Suicide Prevention Day and the Melbourne International Firefighter Stair Climb last weekend, which raised almost $500,000 to improve support services, fund research, remove stigmas and raise awareness of mental health issues.
Find out more about how you can start a meaningful conversation.