If life is in danger
call 000

Emergency Service Workers

Keeping those who care for and protect us safe.

In order to continue caring for others, we first need to ensure we are caring for ourselves.

Those in police and emergency service roles, which include police, paramedics, fire and rescue and State Emergency Service personnel are working on the front line to protect us and ensure our safety. As such, they can be frequently exposed to highly stressful and traumatic situations. Each person will experience these situations differently and how they respond will differ from person to person. For some, this may have an impact on their mental health and wellbeing.

Some signs that you may need support include:

  • Difficulty thinking clearly, planning, making decisions
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering details
  • Have recurrent thoughts or memories from frontline work
  • Body tension, tiredness, headaches, sweating
  • Changes to appetite
  • Changes in behaviour such as increased use of drugs or alcohol to cope 
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Feeling irritable or crying easily
  • Difficulty feeling emotions
  • Feeling disconnected from others 

If you, or someone you care for is experiencing PTSD, stress or overwhelm as a result of emergency service work, please call Lifeline to speak to a trained Crisis Supporter on 13 11 14 (24 hours / 7 days) or text Lifeline on 0477 13 11 14 (6pm, - midnight, 7 nights).  We are here to listen.

Support services and resources

Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue established the Police and Emergency Services Program to promote the mental health of police and emergency service personnel and reduce their risk of suicide. The Program is for current and former/retired employees, volunteers and their families.

Visit: Beyond Blue PES program

Phoenix Australia

Phoenix Australia (Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health) is a not-for-profit organisation that promotes recovery for the 15 million Australians affected by trauma. Phoenix provides a number of fact sheets and videos about trauma and works with high-risk organisations to implement initiatives that promote mental health.

Visit: Phoenix Australia

Holding on to Hope - Ross' Story

As a former fire fighter Ross Beckley had to deal with some horrific situations – anything from car accidents to house fires – and it took its toll on his mental health.

“I was triggered all the time. Driving home, you know, from driving here to the shops would normally take me two or three minutes to get milk and bread. But because I avoided certain roads and certain streets it might take me half an hour. And people don't realize that. People don't realise I go that way because I don’t want to go past where that house fire was or that car accident was… people don't understand how it impacts your own life, you know, you go to work and you've got to be professional, you've got to be stone faced, get the job done, push through it, write the report and not show that I was cracking and showing that what I'm witnessing is disturbing. And that was the problem.” Ross Beckley in Holding on to Hope