SES Volunteers

Responder Assist: 1800 329 191

Monday – Friday,  9am – 5pm (public holidays excluded)

Responder Assist is a Centre of Excellence in Emergency Worker Mental Health that is funded by the Victorian Government.

 

We operate a clinical service that will be open to all employees, volunteers and veterans of emergency services organisations. We also provide training and resources to support clinicians who treat emergency services workers, enabling them to achieve the best possible treatment outcomes.

Our clinical services are currently operating in a trial capacity. These services are available to employees, volunteers and veterans associated with Victoria Police. We aim to expand this trial to encompass other emergency services organisations in due course. These include: State Emergency Service (SES), ESTA (Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority), Ambulance Victoria, Country Fire Authority, Fire Rescue Victoria and Forest Fire Management Victoria.

Emergency Workers

Emergency workers can experience critical incidents and traumatic events as part of their every day. If your work has affected your psychological health and wellbeing, or you are bothered by mental health symptoms at work, contact us on 1800 329 191 (during business hours) for a confidential assessment.

 

If your emergency services organisation is not yet covered by our clinical trial, you can sign up for updates here. You can also review our helpful resources for some useful tips to help manage your own mental health as well as support loved ones in managing theirs.

Refer an emergency worker to Responder Assist

If you are a health professional working with emergency workers, some of our resources may help.

 

You can also refer a patient for expert treatment by calling our Responder Assist intake line: 1800 329 191. To learn more about emergency services culture for clinicians, sign up for Responder Assist updates and we’ll be in touch.

Joining our Specialist Network of Clinicians

Consult with our Multi-Disciplinary Advice Panel 

We invite clinicians treating Victorian emergency services workers to consult with our Multi-Disciplinary Advice Panel (MDAP) for assistance with case formulation, diagnostic clarification and treatment planning, difficulties with engagement, complex risk issues, navigating health services, questions about pharmacotherapy, and more.

 

The panel consists of representatives from the disciplines of general practice, clinical psychology, clinical neuropsychology, psychiatry and social work. Contact the panel on: 1800 324 879 to arrange a consult.

What is Responder Assist?

Responder Assist is a Centre of Excellence for Emergency Worker Mental Health. It is funded by the Victorian Government Department of Health and is run by Phoenix Australia – the Australian National Centre of Excellence in Posttraumatic Mental Health.  

 

There are three broad pillars of activity within Responder Assist. 

 

Referral service to specialist clinicians

Facilitate access to high quality mental health care for emergency workers from seven emergency services organisations. Responder Assist will achieve this through:

  • An extensive communication and engagement campaign aimed at emergency workers to encourage early access to mental health support and to raise awareness about what Responder Assist has to offer
  • Developing a centralized intake and referral service (CIR), taking referrals from emergency workers, as well as their GP, EAP provider, union, and others assisting the worker
  • Providing an assessment and triage function through the CIR to assist the worker in accessing the most appropriate care
  • Developing a specialist network of clinicians (SNC) with knowledge of the unique culture within emergency worker organisations and a high level of expertise in evidence-based treatment for mental health problems
  • Establishing referral pathways not only to the SNC, but also to other appropriate services

 

Awareness, training, and clinician support

Increase the capacity and capability of health providers across Victoria who work with emergency workers with mental health problems. Specifically this will include:

  • An extensive marketing, communication, and engagement campaign to raise awareness about the Responder Assist and what it has to offer
  • Development of a competency framework outlining key skills that health providers – from primary care through to mental health specialists – should have to work effectively with emergency workers
  • A suite of training activities, both online and face to face, covering each key competency
  • A range of clinician support activities, including access to expert clinical advice, peer supervision through a “community of practice”, and regular case conferences

 

Research and evaluation

Provide the research platform to drive optimisation of clinical services for emergency workers. Specifically, this will include:

  • Evaluating the effectiveness of treatment provided by the SNC and other clinicians
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of training and clinical support initiatives provided by Responder Assist for health workers across the State
  • Coordinating and conducting research projects aimed at improving the quality of treatment

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Read our newsletter

View the latest editions of the Responder Assist newsletter below: 

  • Issue 1