6 July 2019
Victoria’s emergency services took centre stage in front of over 66,000 people at the MCG as part of the inaugural Emergency Services Match.
While Hawthorn Football Club took the spoils against Collingwood on the field, our sector was the real winner as a number of staff and volunteers from each agency took to the field in a special pre-game ceremony.
The match was an initiative of the Hawthorn Football Club and aimed to recognise the work emergency services men and women do in protecting their local communities.
It also brought to the attention of the general public the mental health challenges past and present emergency services workers face on a day-to-day basis, and raised significant funds for the Emergency Services Foundation.
“This was such a good way to celebrate the incredible work our emergency services personnel do in protecting the community,” Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said.
“It’s great to see some of our people out on the hallowed turf of the MCG getting the credit they deserve from the Victorians they serve, even if we know they don’t do it for recognition”.
While improving the mental health of the emergency services community is a key focus, there are still a number of statistics that show how far there is to go:
- Nearly 40% of emergency service employees are diagnosed with a mental health condition (compared to the 20% of all adults in Australia).
- Emergency service workers are more than twice as likely to report having suicidal thoughts and three times more likely to have a suicide plan compared to all adults in Australia.
- More than half of all employees in emergency services are likely to experience a traumatic event that will deeply affect them during their work.
- 46% of employees reported that they think others their organisation would not want to work with someone with anxiety or depression on the same team as them.