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Everymind program to support family and friends of Australian paramedics

6 September 2021

Everymind is pleased to receive funding from Movember and The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride to deliver an online support program for family and friends of Australian paramedics experiencing mental ill-health.

Minds Together is a suite of programs for caregivers who support a person with mental ill-health or suicidal distress.

The funding from Movember and The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride will allow Minds Together to have a specific focus on supporting family and friends of paramedic first responders.

Paramedics experience disproportionate burdens of trauma, PTSD, psychological distress and suicidal behaviour, but more than half of those experiencing mental ill-health do not seek treatment or formal support. Families and friends provide most of the practical and emotional support for their loved ones, and are therefore key to improving outcomes for paramedics.

Everymind will partner with NSW Ambulance, FORTEM Australia and the University of Newcastle to deliver the Minds Together program across Australia, assisting family and friends who support paramedics, and helping them to support their own wellbeing as well.

Everymind Program Manager Dr Sally Fitzpatrick said families and friends played a crucial role in supporting loved ones who were paramedics.

“Family and friends are often the first to notice signs of mental health concerns in their loved one, so it is vital that we build their knowledge and skills to provide care and support,” Dr Fitzpatrick said.

“Being a family member of a paramedic who is doing critical frontline work in the community can be very rewarding, but being their support person can often come at significant physical, emotional and social costs. So, it is also important that their own wellbeing is supported."

Everymind Program Manager Dr Sally Fitzpatrick

The Minds Together program will be delivered online, offering stories of lived experience from fellow paramedics and their family members, and a moderated social networking platform where users can connect with peers and overcome feelings of isolation.

The program modules cover mental health literacy, caring for yourself and others, effective communication, and helpful strategies for everyday life.

Everymind is a national institute dedicated to the prevention of mental ill-health and suicide, delivered through best practice programs, communication, policy responses and translational research.

To read more about the Movember Veterans and First Responders Mental Health Grant Program, click here.

If you are experiencing distress and need help, please contact Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.