The Emergency Services Foundation is bringing its Mental Health Matters program for emergency service volunteers to Horsham Town Hall on Sunday 2 May.
The one-day event is provided with support from the State Government through a Valuing Volunteer Grant.
Designed for emergency service volunteers the workshops aim to bring together and support volunteers from across the sector including CFA, SES, Ambulance Victoria, St John Ambulance, Red Cross, Life Saving, Victorian Council of Churches Emergency Ministry, and others from the local area.
The interactive workshops will be facilitated by mental health professionals from OzHelp, alongside volunteers who will share their lived experience of mental health struggles in the hope of reducing stigma.
The program will provide participants with a deeper understanding of the many factors that influence our mental health and wellbeing and how to apply these learnings in caring for ourselves and our colleagues in a volunteer team environment.
Emergency Services Foundation chief executive Siusan MacKenzie said one in five Australians reported having some sort of mental health condition.
"Gone are the days when there is any shame in putting your hand up for help. I encourage people to take this opportunity to understand how we can protect our wellbeing," she said.
Participants will leave the workshops:
- Able to recognise early indicators of distress in themselves.
- Able to recognise early indicators of distress in colleagues.
- More confident in being able to check in about a mental health and wellbeing concern with colleagues.
- Able to recognise factors which contribute to stress.
- Knowing where to access mental health support and resources.
- Knowing how leaders [formal and informal] can support the mental health and wellbeing of a team.
Grampians Region assistant chief fire officer Stephen Walls said he was very pleased to see this program offered locally.
"These workshops are for every emergency service volunteer. We all need to be able to recognise the signs and symptoms of distress so we can be there to support our mates and family when they need us - even though they may not recognise they need help," he said.
The workshops are free, fully catered and all emergency service volunteers are welcome to attend and bring a partner or friend if they want. If you are interested, please register for planning purposes by going to the Emergency Service Foundation website www.esf.com.au.
For more information contact Siusan MacKenzie email@example.com.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: