This strategy sets out the commitment of NSW first responder agencies to promote and protect the mental health and wellbeing of their staff and members. It represents a consensus among the agencies about what is required to meet this obligation.
In NSW, first responder organisations include: NSW Police Force, Fire & Rescue NSW, NSW Ambulance, the Rural Fire Service of NSW, the NSW State Emergency Service (SES), Marine Rescue NSW and the Volunteer Rescue Association (VRA).
The publication of this document represents the first time in Australia’s history that first responder agencies have collaborated to develop a shared mental health and wellbeing strategy. The milestone achievement was made possible by the Mental Health Commission of NSW, which brought the agencies together and facilitated the strategy’s development, and the Black Dog Institute, which provided the evidence base to support the strategy direction. UNSW researcher and workplace mental health expert Associate Professor Sam Harvey, who is based at the Black Dog Institute, was the strategy’s lead author.