More govt support for police mental health


More govt support for police mental health

The federal government has committed to almost $6 million in mental health funding to support police and other emergency services personnel.

The Police Federation of Australia will receive $2.5 million from the Department of Health to establish a 'Blue Hub' — a national centre of excellence — to develop a national framework for mental health care for emergency service first responders.

A further $3.3 million will be drawn from confiscated 'proceeds of crime' for several initiatives to boost services and educate and support emergency service workers around mental health issues.

Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton said it was fitting to reinvest 'proceeds of crime' back into supporting first responders to emergency situations.

Dutton has launched a new organisation called 'Fortem Australia', which was formed by Soldier On co-founders John Bale and Dr Danielle Clout. It is designed to do for law enforcement and emergency service workers what Soldier On has done for defence personnel.

Fortem will be a specialised, community-based organisation focused on the health and wellbeing of frontline workers who deal with confronting situations in their daily work-life.

Initiatives proposed to be funded from 'proceeds of crime' are:

  • $1.88 million over two years to Fortem Australia to improve health and wellbeing of emergency service workers and meet the needs of individuals and families from early intervention to crisis support.
  • $750,000 over one year to the National Police Memorial Co to educate and build resilience in all law enforcement agencies in the areas of social, emotional and psychological health.
  • $648,996 over two years to the Australian Federal Police for development of new mental health policies and health standards.

"Police, fire and ambulance officers, paramedics and volunteers in organisations like the SES that have to deal firsthand with the accidents, crime and crisis incidents on a daily basis. It can take a toll," Dutton said.

"They are there 24/7 working to help and keep us as individuals and a community safe. We rely on them. We must do all we can to help them in their jobs, and importantly, to lead happy and healthy lives."

Motorola Solutions has strongly supported the Fortem initiative.

"Having worked closely with Australia's emergency services over the past 50 years, Motorola Solutions understands the significant pressure that first responders face in protecting our communities every day,” said Steve Crutchfield, Vice President and Managing Director Australia and New Zealand, Motorola Solutions.

"We are delighted to join Fortem Australia in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of first responders who do all they can to keep us safe, even when that means dealing with traumatic events that most of us never have to face."

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/ymgerman

Originally published here.

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