Emergency services match to kick goals for mental health

8 May 2019

The heads of Victoria’s emergency management sector were at the MCG today for the launch of the Emergency Services Football Match

When Hawthorn takes on Collingwood on Friday 5 July at the MCG, emergency management personnel will be the focus, with the match bringing together two of the things Victorians are most passionate about.

“One of the great things about Victoria is our love of footy and the way it brings people together. Something that matches this is the passion our state’s emergency services personnel have for their job, and their high regard in the community,” Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said.

“This match not only celebrates our people with the broader community, but will generate awareness of the challenges that they face.

“I’d like to congratulate both the Hawthorn and Collingwood Football Clubs for supporting such an important issue”.

The match is an initiative of Hawthorn Football Club and aims to raise awareness of the mental health challenges faced by emergency management personnel, as well as celebrating their contributions to the community and raising money for the Emergency Services Foundation.

Footy fans who are also emergency services personnel can get behind the initiative by purchasing an Emergency Services Membership (External link), which provides access to the Emergency Services Match and one other Hawthorn game. 

All proceeds from the memberships go to the Emergency Services Foundation.

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.