OzHelp today welcomed the announcement from the Australian Labor Party (ALP), Shadow Minister for Justice, Clare O’Neil MP regarding the commitment of $5 million to support a comprehensive mental health program that will assist AFPA and Australian Federal Police (AFP) members.
OzHelp’s CEO Darren Black said that this commitment from the ALP is an important step in providing a quality mental health program that will deliver positive outcomes for all members of the AFP.
“We are pleased to have played a key role in the design of the proposed ‘Aware and Alive’ program, a crucial and comprehensive mental health package that is designed to work alongside the AFP’S internal resources.
“The program recognises the unique hazards faced by Police in the line of duty and their specific needs to effectively seek help,” Mr Black said.
AFPA President Angela Smith said that funding commitment was paramount in ensuring that the ‘Aware and Alive’ mental health program will become a reality.
“We have been working with OzHelp on this initiative for the past six months and I know that OzHelp’s CEO Darren Black will be as pleased as I am to see this commitment from the ALP.
“If the ALP win government at the upcoming election and the $5 million commitment comes to fruition, we believe that OzHelp’s experience and expertise will ensure that AFPA members have access to one of the best mental health programs tailored for emergency service workers in Australia,” Ms Smith said.
The ‘Aware and Alive’ program will have the following key aspects:
- Establishment of a program that complements existing AFP internal resources to delivery multiple options for members to access mental health supports
- Health risk assessments for all members
- Education and information on risk factors and prevention
- A Police Assistance Program incorporating access to independent psychologists and counsellors specialising in emergency services
This program will also establish a baseline data set on the wellbeing of the AFP workforce that will assist in evaluating this and other programs across the AFP.