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28 April 2021
The Emergency Services Foundation will present its Mental Health Matters program for emergency service volunteers at Horsham Town Hall on Sunday.
The one-day workshop event is designed for emergency service volunteers to bring together and support volunteers from across the sector.
The program is open to people from organisations such as Country Fire Authority, State Emergency Service, Ambulance Victoria, St John Ambulance, Red Cross, Life Saving, Victorian Council of Churches Emergency Ministry and others from across the Wimmera.
Mental-health professionals from OzHelp will lead the interactive workshop alongside volunteers who will share their experiences of mental-health struggles in the hope of reducing stigma.
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The program is designed to provide participants with a deeper understanding of the many factors that influence mental health and wellbeing and how to apply this understanding in caring for themselves and colleagues in volunteer team environments.
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.
The hope is that participants will leave the workshop able to recognise early indicators of distress in themselves; recognise early indicators of distress in colleagues; have more confidence in being able to check in about mental health and wellbeing concerns with colleagues; recognise factors that contribute to stress; knowing where to access mental-health support and resources; and knowing how leaders can support the mental health and wellbeing of a team.
Grampians assistant chief fire officer Stephen Walls said he was pleased to see the program on offer in the region.
“These workshops are for every emergency service volunteer,” he said.
“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.”
The workshop is free of charge, fully catered and all emergency-service volunteers are welcome to attend and bring a partner or friend.
People can register for planning purposes by going to Emergency Service Foundation website www.esf.com.au.
The entire April 28, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser and AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!