Supporting our Emergency Service Workers and their Families

Behind The Seen is a not-for-profit organisation in New South Wales which works to support front-line emergency service personnel. They provide training sessions which focus on developing the individuals' ability to recognise the signs of mental health problems, and break down barriers to seeking appropriate help. In addition, they also provide mental health information packs for first responders in the front line.

Black Dog Ride has recently provided Behind The Seen with $10,000 in funding to help carry out this vitally important work to support emergency services personnel, and their families.

Behind The Seen state that:

the feedback has overwhelmingly stated that the session increased conversations around mental health with colleagues; reduced stigma: clarified organisational support systems; clarified community supports; explained stress and resilience in simple and entertaining ways, motivated positive help seeking behaviours and made families feel included, valued and capable as supports for their emergency services spouses, parents or siblings.

Their training programs cover topics such as:

How do you recognise symptoms of stress in a mate?

He says he's okay, but I can tell he isn't - what should I do?

How do you prepare new recruits for incidents?

How do we overcome the old "toughen up" culture?

How do I deal with my own stresses?

How can we set up our own local support networks?

Mental Health First Aid Trainer

East of Adelaide

We have committed to pay fund Mental Health First Aid instructor training for our former Black Dog Ride, South Australian Coordinator, Merv Storton (pictured left). The training to become a Mental Health First Aid instructor takes five days full time, at a cost of $3,905 each.

Once qualified, Merv will be able to deliver the two-day Mental Health First Aid workshop. This workshop teaches participants how to assist people who are developing a mental health problem, experiencing a worsening of an existing mental health problem or in a mental health crisis, until appropriate professional help is received, or the crisis resolves.

Merv has devoted a huge amount of time and effort supporting the community as a Black Dog Ride Coordinator in the past, and we look forward to seeing him pursue this new direction as a Mental Health First Aid instructor.