The Life in Mind team is taking a closer look this week at the findings from Beyond Blue’s landmark national survey Answering the call, which was released as part of the National Mental health and Wellbeing study of Police and Emergency Services.
Answering the call is the first national survey which looks into the mental health and wellbeing of police and emergency services personnel in Australia.
The survey provided important insight for both the suicide prevention and mental health sector, the outlining key protective and risk factors for police and emergency services personnel.
Everymind Suicide Prevention Project Lead for Life in Mind Simon Pont said the survey highlights an example of the significant translatable research undertaken across the suicide prevention sector.
“The release of findings such as those from the Answering the call survey empower the suicide prevention sector to support those within police and emergency services,” Mr Pont said.
“It provides direct insight from the collective voice of more than 21,014 volunteers, employees and former employees of police and emergency services.
“As a result it has helped to shape and inform a comprehensive picture of the mental health and wellbeing of police and emergency services personnel in Australia.”
The results from the Answering the call survey highlight key protective and risk factors experienced by police and emergency services personnel – including insight around their resilience, commitment to service and community as well as their exposure to traumatic events and the challenges of their workplace environments.
Among the key findings, the survey found that one in three employees experience high or very high psychological distress and for individuals who have worked for more than 10 years in the field are considered to be twice as likely to experience psychological distress.
Importantly, lower rates of psychological distress were associated with organisations which provide higher levels of support and effectively manage the emotional demands of staff.
As result, the survey is expected to assist in informing and supporting the promotion of wellbeing and mental health across emergency services.
Find more information on the survey and key findings here.
More information about Beyond Blue is available on Life in Mind.