Beyond Blue recognises that some people may be at higher risk of developing a mental health condition and of suicide, because of the job they do.
Beyond Blue's Police and Emergency Services Program (formerly the First Responders Program) is undertaking a major national research study on the mental health and wellbeing of police and emergency services personnel.
The first phase of the study will involve collecting the personal experiences of police and emergency services workers and their family members. We invite blueVoices members with this experience to take part and contribute their insights to this research.
Beyond Blue has engaged Whereto Research, an independent social research company, to assist with this research project.
The Beyond Blue First Responders Program was established in 2014 to promote the mental health of first responders and reduce their risk of suicide. In 2016 the name of the Program was changed to the Police and Emergency Services Program (PES Program).
The objectives of the Program are to:
- reduce the stigma associated with mental health conditions, attempted suicide and suicide among police and emergency services personnel;
- increase the number of police and emergency services personnel taking action to manage their mental health and support colleagues they may be concerned about; and
- increase the number and capability of police and emergency services organisations taking action to create mentally healthy workplaces.
Managed by Beyond Blue’s Workplace and Workforce team, the PES program focuses on police, ambulance, fire and rescue, and state emergency services, and includes current and former/retired workers, volunteers and their families.
Why this research is important
Existing research suggests that police and emergency services employees experience significantly higher rates of depression, fatigue, anxiety, stress and post-traumatic stress disorder, compared with the general population.
We want to understand the real life stories behind these statistics so that we can find ways to improve mental health and reduce suicide risk for our police and emergency services community.
This project is also essential to assist Beyond Blue to understand the key factors affecting the mental health of police and emergency services workers and ways to address these. Beyond Blue plans to use information from the research study to raise awareness of these issues within the broader community, as part of the PES Program.