‘Beyond Duty’ online summit to inspire broad approach to first responder mental health and wellbeing. Register now!

Fortem Australia is hosting a one-day online summit for leaders, staff, volunteers, families and communities connected to first responder and national security agencies.   

This FREE summit will take place over three sessions on Thursday, 2 September 2021 around the theme ‘Beyond Duty – what is the bigger picture in first responder wellbeing?’ 

The Fortem model of care and support draws heavily on the premise that connectedness – to family, community and colleagues; has a massive bearing on individual wellbeing.   

Beyond Duty aims to canvass research and lived experience from industry leaders, the first responder community, and health professionals, who will explore a ‘whole of person’ approach to mental health and fitness – during and post service. 

A diverse and interesting program of speakers has been assembled including:

Graham Ashton and Dr Liz Sutton, Graham is the former Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, Liz is a Research Fellow at Monash University. For the first time they will reflect on their 25 year lived experience as a first responder family – the positive and negative and what they learnt along the way about the wellbeing needs of their community during and post service. 

Dr David Lawrence, from the University of Western Australia. David will share the lessons learned from the “Answering the Call’ and ‘After the Fires’ research, focusing on the importance of workplace culture, family and community in supporting the wellbeing of emergency services personnel.

Dr Kristen Hamling, from Wellbeing Aoteraroa, New Zealand. Fighting for the person behind the uniform: why first responders must work hard to stay well in the job. 

Dr Sally Kelty, from the University of Canberra. A holistic approach to understanding occupational stress, and the personal and organisational factors that reduce burnout and stress risks in first responders.

Professor Zachary Steel, from the University of NSW, President of the Australasian Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, Chair of St John of God Trauma and Mental Health. Six developments in the trauma field that should change how we think about first responder workplace injury prevention, management and recovery. 

Lyn Worsley, Director, of The Resilience Centre, Sydney. The resilience doughnut – the strong correlation between individual resilience and the wellbeing of the family unit.

Plus a number of lively panel discussions with current and retired first responders and family members.

Our aim is to shine a light on the importance of the social, cultural and structural systems around individual workers in supporting their mental wellbeing throughout all stages of their career and life.  

Beyond Duty will create a stronger focus on the family unit and networks of emergency service workers; including both the impact of the work as well as the protective influence that strengthening these social bonds can have.  

The family is an important resource in supporting the mental fitness of first responders and needs greater consideration in the management of stress related strain and injury in the workplace.  

Understanding the bigger picture in first responder wellbeing is another step towards addressing the higher rates of psychological distress we see in this important community.  

The actions that follow are critical in building health and resilience in people and places across Australia. 

Registration is FREE, and open now to anyone with an interest in our first responder community.

Lend your voice to the conversation and Fortem’s advocacy for first responders and their family members.

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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