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Managing mental health brigade tips
Brigades across Victoria have contributed to a new guide book providing advice to other brigades on how to support members’ mental health.
Managing Mental Health – Tips from Brigades is the result of discussions with a number of brigades about how they prepare and support their members before, during and after potentially traumatic incidents in order to minimise impacts on their mental health.
Many elements of being a CFA member can be confronting, stressful and potentially traumatic.
This can put members at risk of developing mental health issues, including stress, anxiety and depression, which can impact on the way they function day to day and their relationships with others.
These conditions are common - one in five Australians experiences a mental health issue in their lifetime.
That’s why it’s important that members are supported to manage their mental health as they would their physical health, so a mental health issue doesn’t develop into a serious illness.
Aimed at brigade leaders, the book provides ‘best practice’ examples for brigades to consider and apply as appropriate.
It offers tips and ideas for managing mental health in relation to:
- Recruiting and inducting new members into the brigade
- Supporting members before, during and after an incident
- Supporting a member who has experienced a potentially traumatic event
- Looking after yourself
Managing Mental Health – Tips from Brigades is available via Peer Coordinators, Wellbeing Field Officers or can be downloaded at www.cfa.vic.gov.au/mentalhealth
The guide book adds to the range of free, confidential support services and resources CFA makes available to members including:
- Peer Support Program - trained members offering support & guidance – contact your local Peer Coordinator
- Member Assistance Program – a 24-hour counselling service – 1300 795 711
- Chaplaincy Program – offering 24-hour pastoral care – 1800 337 068
- HeadsUP online toolkit - information and advice on managing mental health and relationship issues – www.cfa.vic.gov.au/headsup
You’ll find more information here.