An icare and EML-sponsored seminar has equipped first responder agencies with best practice, resources and management tools to help managers better assist and support employees who may be struggling to deal with mental health issues.
The Managing Mental Health Seminar, held in Sydney, provided managers with first-hand accounts from people living with mental health challenges and its impact to their work life, explained EML CEO Mark Coyne.
He said the seminar was “about arming peers with the best techniques to support their colleagues, to ensure mental health issues are identified earlier, and that appropriate care and support can be provided to workers who need it the most.”
Eugene McGarell, icare GM health & community engagement, said the collaboration with icare was “to ensure that first-responder workers suffering from mental illness receive early intervention and the best possible care available to help them recover and return to life safely.”
“We are delighted to deliver this engaging seminar to the unsung heroes of our community who experience enormous mental and physical challenges in protecting us all,” McGarrell said.
The seminar also featured expert speakers Professor Michael Sullivan, a Canadian academic, psychologist, and neurology expert from McGill University in Montreal Quebec; and Todd Sampson, an award-winning documentary-maker, advertising guru, adventurer, and businessman.
The event was also backed by NSW mental health commissioner John Feneley, in support of NSW government First Responder employees.
“NSW’s First Responder emergency services workers form the frontline of the community’s safety 24/7 and it is our responsibility to look after their mental health and wellbeing,” Commissioner Feneley said.
“There is much to be gained from the joint-commitment of First Responder agencies to change their culture and reduce stigma around mental illness. Knowledge exchange opportunities such as today demonstrate this ongoing commitment,” he said.
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