As first responders our members are usually the first on the scene to face challenging, dangerous and draining situations.
They are also the first to reach out to survivors and provide emotional and physical support to them. For these reasons, it’s important to support our members before, during and after incidents to help them stay mentally healthy and resilient.
CFA is taking part in a 12-month research project aimed at identifying effective strategies to maintain the mental health and wellbeing of young fire and emergency services volunteers, aged 16 to 25.
The research has been funded by the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and The Hospital Research Foundation and is supported by AFAC.
The overall objective of the project is to develop a wellbeing framework informed by young fire and emergency services volunteers, which can be used to screen, monitor and support the mental health and wellbeing of young volunteers.
The research focuses on volunteers, however, the outcomes are expected to be applicable to all young people in fire and emergency services organisations.
Jen Clement, CFA’s Volunteer Programs Leader (Youth), is a member of the project working group, and Grady Tyson, a young volunteer from Tatura Fire Brigade, is representing CFA volunteers on the Young Volunteer Advisory Committee.
Other young CFA members have the opportunity to participate in a survey to share their experiences and make suggestions for additional support in the future.
If you are aged between 16-25 and engaged in an active volunteer role, you are invited to complete a short survey to help the study understand your experiences in relation to volunteering and mental health.