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The hidden wounds of first responders: and how Fortem is answering the call.

Monday’s edition of ‘A Current Affair‘ featured the story of former Australian Federal Police officer Jason Taylor and his courageous battle with PTSD.  

Sadly, Jason’s story is not an uncommon one – one in three first responders experience high levels of psychological distress – more than double the rate of the general Australian adult population. Fortem exists to help close this gap.  

As Jason’s story shows, there is a growing realisation that an important part of supporting the mental fitness of our first responders lies in supporting them at all stages of their life journey. 

During the course of our 18 months of operation, it has become clear that many first responders, like Jason, struggle after leaving their roles – and for good reason.  

Feeling a lack of purpose and structure, losing touch with a friendship group that is rooted in your workplace and grappling with experiences and trauma that are foreign to the broader public – these are all things that can threaten the wellbeing of our first responders and their families, once they leave their workplace.  

Here at Fortem, we can now proudly say that we are working to address this need by supporting first responders and their families, through our new Transition and Employment Program.

Launched on 1 July 2021, the program’s mission is to enable a smooth, supported, meaningful transition into the next chapter of life.  We look to honour past service as well as highlight and recognise the ongoing capabilities of first responders.

To find out more, get involved, or register your interest in the transition program, email transition@fortemaustralia.org.au, or get in touch on 1300 33 95 94.  

The new Transition and Employment Program is designed to complement, our original and existing suite of free and independent services.  

To get involved in upcoming Fortem events check our Wellbeing Activities Calendar, you’ll also find mental health resources in the Fortem Resource Library and via Peak Fortem. Fortem Australia also offers psychology support and care coordination for eligible first responders and family members. Call 1300 33 95 94 to find out more. 

To first responders like Jason, and their family members, our door is open, we are here to help.

Fortem activities, events and community engagements are designed to support the mental fitness of our first responder families. Read more about Our Approach.
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