National Mental Health and Wellbeing Study of Police and Emergency Services

beyondblue is undertaking the National Mental Health and Wellbeing Study of Police and Emergency Services to build a comprehensive picture of the mental health and wellbeing of police and emergency services personnel in Australia.

There is nothing more important than the mental health and wellbeing of the people who serve and protect our communities every day. This is a landmark piece of research beyondblue is undertaking, and I am delighted that almost every police and emergency services agency in Australia is participating. The information we generate will enable us to improve and strengthen our approach to protecting those who protect us, to make a real difference to people’s lives.

– Ken Lay AO APM, Chair of the Advisory Group of the National Mental Health and Wellbeing Study of Police and Emergency Services 

A three-phase research study

There are three key phases in the research study:

  1. Phase 1 was a qualitative project gathering the personal experiences of current and former police and emergency services personnel and family members, in respect of factors that contribute to positive and negative mental health outcomes. This phase was undertaken by Whereto Research and completed in November 2016.
  2. Phase 2 involves the first nationally representative survey of police and emergency services personnel in Australia – Answering the call. beyondblue has engaged The University of Western Australia and Roy Morgan Research to undertake this phase.
  3. Phase 3 will be a collaborative ‘evidence to action’ project. The findings from Phases 1 and 2 will be used to identify and implement practical strategies to improve the mental health of police and emergency services personnel across Australia.

Study Advisory Group

An Advisory Group has been formed to provide strategic guidance for the research study and ensure it is informed by the diversity and depth of expertise in the police and emergency services sector. The group is being chaired by Ken Lay AO APM, Chairman of Ambulance Victoria and former Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, and includes senior leaders and representatives from agencies, unions and community groups, clinicians and academics, a former police officer and family member of an emergency services employee.

Answering the call – a national survey

Answering the call is a national survey (Phase 2 of the study) which aims to collect much-needed evidence about the issues affecting the mental health and wellbeing of police and emergency services personnel and the best ways to provide support. The survey aims to investigate the prevalence of common mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide risk. It will also collect important information about stigma, use of support services and programs, and factors that impact on the mental health of police and emergency services personnel.

The survey will be tailored for current employees, current volunteers, and former employees, and for the individual service sectors (ambulance, fire and rescue, police and state emergency services). It has been developed by the research team at The University of Western Australia with guidance from a Technical Advisory Group.

From October 2017 approximately 100,000 current and former employees and volunteers in police and emergency services agencies across Australia will be invited to participate in the national survey. Findings will be available in late 2018.

The survey team

The University of Western Australia

David Lawrence

Jennifer Bartlett

Wavne Rikkers

Stephen Zubrick

Roy Morgan Research

Bruce Packard

Tania Sperti

David Norrish

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) for participants and police and emergency services organisations

Download the FAQs for participants [4pp, PDF, 247KB]

Download the FAQ for organisations [2pp, PDF, 230KB]

Participant information form 

Participant information form [3pp, PDF, 600KB]

Support services

The national survey includes questions that may be distressing for some people. If participating in the survey raises any concerns about how you have been feeling, and you would like to talk to someone, there are a number of support options available to assist you:

You can visit your GP, another health professional, or contact your agency’s Employee Assistance Program.

The beyondblue Support Service also provides free, immediate, short-term counselling advice and referrals to people in Australia via telephone and email 24/7, and web chat from 3pm to midnight (AEST), every day. The Support Service can be contacted on 1300 22 4636 or via email or web chat at

For crisis support and suicide prevention services, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, available 24/7, or online text chat from 7pm to 4am (AEST) at

If you feel that you are at immediate risk of harm or your life may be in danger, please call triple zero – 000.

Contact us

For further information about the survey, please phone the research team at Roy Morgan on 1800 677 248 or email

For more information about beyondblue’s Police and Emergency Services Program, visit beyondblue Police and Emergency Services (PES) Program

Or, learn more about promoting mental health and wellbeing in police and emergency services workplaces at

The beyondblue Police and Emergency Services Program (PES) is a program of work managed by the Workplace & Workforce team at beyondblue. For further information please contact us.

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