Like many Australians affected by bushfires this year, fire fighters and other first responders are going through an incredibly tough time. This summer, the heroes we turn to when our lives are at risk, are turning to you

Dear GHFC,

I know that you care about the mental health of Australians. Your support of the Black Dog Institute shows your commitment, your care, and your understanding.

I’m writing to you today because I’m deeply worried about the mental health and safety of emergency service workers, and I need your help.

Many emergency service workers experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD):

1 in 12 current Emergency Service personnel experience PTSD

1 in 6 retired Emergency Service personnel experience PTSD

Every 4.3 weeks we lose one police officer, paramedic or firefighter to suicide.

Black Dog Institute has developed a powerful range of online and app-based treatments and therapies for PTSD. We have created a suite of tools specific to emergency service workers, such as:

RAW Mind Coach, an app that improves coping strategies and resilience.

HeadGear*, developed in collaboration with Beyondblue and the Movember Foundation, utilises two therapies, behavioural activation and mindfulness, to reduce depression and improve wellbeing.

RESPECT training, to help employers and supervisors support the mental health needs of their staff.

Black Dog Institute has also developed evidence-based PTSD treatment guidelines to help health professionals successfully assist people experiencing PTSD.

These tools and programs have been developed through years of clinical research and testing. We know they work, but we need to get them into the hands of the people who need them.

As our emergency service workers help manage fire emergencies around the clock, you can help those that are experiencing PTSD, or might in the future, by providing access to the mental health tools they need.


Helen Christensen

Director and Chief Scientist at the Black Dog Institute

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