While resilient, frontline workers are at high risk of poor mental health.
Depression, anxiety, insomnia, and psychological distress amongst sector workers are on the rise. Pandemic challenges, worker shortages, and extreme weather events continue to intensify the problem.
What this points to is an urgent need for tailored support and care.
If taking a few days out of your diary to travel to the Gold Coast and attend the Frontline Mental Health Conference in person is not an option, you can join the conference as a virtual attendee.
In fact, you get access to the conference, all the keynote presentations and post-conference resource materials with ease from the comfort of your own office.
Our vision for the Frontline Mental Health Conference is to improve the mental health and wellbeing of all Australian and New Zealand first responders, whether you attend in person or attend virtually the content is unmissable.
The agenda for this year’s conference is dynamic. Your presenters are passionate sector leaders, policy makers and practitioners. Each brings a plethora of important information and key insights to share with you.
“The flexibility of being able to participate online was excellent. Provided options for those still having to work or unable to travel.”
“I attended the conference virtually, and it was really well-organized.”
“I attended the conference virtually. I would like to express my appreciation to the conference organisers in providing the opportunity for virtual attendees to participate and listen to the sessions.”
Moderator: Dr Sadhbh Joyce, Mindarma, Panelists: Dr Mark Deady, Dr Aimee Gayed, Professor Sam Harvey and Leona Tan, Black Dog Institute
Moderator: Dr Kate Martin, CLET, Panelists: Megan Kingham, NSW Ambulance, Hugh Strong, QRFS, and Cameron Watts, Fortem Australia
Spillover Stress: The Impact of Emergency Response Work on First Responder Families
Positive Psychology Tools for Frontline Mental Health
Practitioner Wellbeing: Addressing the Impacts of Vicarious Trauma
Peer Designed and Led Wellbeing Programs
|As a virtual attendee you gain access to the live streaming of all keynote presentations.
|You also access live streaming of all sessions in the main speaker room over the two days.|
|As the virtual conference is running on the same schedule as the in-person conference, you will have plenty of opportunities to stretch your legs during morning tea, lunch, and afternoon tea breaks.|
|All the recordings (of all key note sessions and sessions not in the main conference room) will be made available to you post conference in the resource center.|
|As a virtual attendee you have the option to vote on polls that are sent out during presentations and provide on the spot feedback to our team.
|Our virtual conference has virtual exhibition booths where you can connect with the sponsors and partners of the conference and see how they can help make your day-to-day a little easier.|
|You will have access to the recordings and resource center for 30 days post conference, giving you ample time to rewatch the sessions.
2 DAY PROGRAM
2 DAY PROGRAM
2 DAY PROGRAM
Price is per person.
minimum group of four (4).
NSW/ACT Training Manager, LivingWorks Australia
Belinda Connell has been a registered Social Worker for 25 years and has over 10 years’ experience in suicide prevention, delivering LivingWorks’ suicide intervention training in Australia and overseas. Prior to joining LivingWorks, Belinda worked in Government and Non-Government sectors and has also served as a sworn Police Officer with the NSW Police Service. This experience has helped her establish and nurture relationships with first responders, ultimately building LivingWorks’ network of safety. As State Training Manager for NSW and ACT, Belinda oversees and supports a network of more than 190 LivingWorks ASIST and safeTALK trainers, and sits on the Suicide Prevention Australia NSW/ACT Joint Committee.
Respectful Workplace Officer, NSW Police Force
Sgt Matt Ireland is in his 23rd year within the NSWPF. He has served within metropolitan, regional and remote areas of NSW. He spent 6 years with the NSWPF Mental Health Intervention Team. Sgt Ireland has an Honours Degree in Psychology and was a PhD candidate in 2018 when he was seriously assaulted whilst on duty. After a significant time out of the workplace following a diagnosis of PTSD, he now holds a position within the NSWPF People and Capability Command. In 2022 he walked the Camino de Santiago - an 850km journey across Spain.
Managing Director, Capital Integrity and Fortem Australia Ambassador
Cameron is the Founder and Managing Director of Capital Integrity, a strategic counsel and government relations consultancy that helps clients in the tech and cyber fields engage with government and industry.
Cameron served fourteen years in the Australian Federal Police, most of this time in leadership roles, and as an AFP advisor to the federal government. He also led some of Australia’s biggest corporate criminal matters including foreign bribery and corruption investigations.
Cameron has deep expertise in engagement with senior decision makers in government both domestically and internationally and uses this expertise to align the needs of government and his clients.
Cameron is a strong advocate for first responders and the need to provide support to this under resourced cohort, and he and his wife Sharn are both proud Fortem Australia Ambassadors.
Executive Director and Chief Scientist
Sam Harvey is a Professor of Psychiatry and the Executive Director and Chief Scientist of the Black Dog Institute. Over the last 10 years he has led Australia's largest program of research focused on the mental health of frontline workers. Together with Prof Richard Bryant, he established the Bushfire Support Service after the 2019/20 bushfires, which has now transformed into Australia's National Emergency Worker Support Service (NEWSS).
PhD Candidate, Black Dog Institute, University of New South Wales
Leona Tan is PhD Candidate based at the Black Dog Institute and University of New South Wales. Her PhD aims to investigate the feasibility and effectiveness of mind-body resilience training to prevent the development of trauma related mental health disorders in first responders.
Her excellence in research has been recognised by numerous competitive awards including the 2021 John Raftery Early Career Award for Research in Traumatic Stress. Her research has also influenced organisational policies within local and international first responder organisations, as well as the World Health Organization in their development of guidelines for high-risk industry groups, including first responders.
Queensland Rural Fire Service
Hugh Strong commenced with the Queensland Rural Fire Service in 2014. He is a Crew Leader and Brigade Training Officer with Glen Aplin Rural Fire Brigade as well as a member of the Queensland RFS Remote Area Operations team or RAFT. Hugh was elected to the position of Deputy Group Officer for Training for the Stanthorpe Group in October 2022. He has lead crews during the 19/20 Black summer fires as a crew leader, sector commander and divisional commander as well as acted in the role of deputy strike team leader during deployments interstate and been part of strike teams to flood zones assisting in recovery efforts.
Outside of the RFS, Hugh works for the Federal Government in the welfare sector dealing with the vulnerable in areas such as domestic violence, natural disaster recovery and welfare payments as well as being a first aid officer and mental health first aid officer. Hugh also is a self-defence instructor assisting domestic violence and assault survivors rediscover their strength and confidence.
Senior Research Fellow, Black Dog Institute
Dr Mark Deady is a UNSW Senior Research Fellow based at the Black Dog Institute, and the Research Lead within the Workplace Mental Health Research Program. He has over thirteen years research experience in the field of mental health and substance use disorders. Dr Deady has extensive expertise in the development of digital interventions, online service delivery, clinical trial evaluation and workplace mental health. His primary research interest is in improving access to evidence-based prevention and early intervention through technology and the translation of research into practice, particularly in vulnerable populations including young people and high-risk workforces.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Black Dog Institute
Dr Aimee Gayed is a registered psychologist with experience in research, professional education and clinical settings across mental health and criminological domains. Aimee has been with the Workplace Mental Health Research Team at the Black Dog Institute, UNSW since 2015. The primary focus of her research is developing and evaluating tailored training for managers, to help them better understand and better support the mental health needs of the staff they supervise. She is also leading research with employees in high-risk industries investigating the benefits of evidence-based workplace interventions designed to address psychosocial risk factors and promote more mentally healthy workplaces.
Commissioner of ACT Emergency Services Agency (ACT ESA)
Georgeina Whelan graduated from Officer Training in June 1988. She has extensive experience in the command and management of Defence health systems, and military and civilian disaster and emergency response. As an Army Officer, Brigadier Whelan deployed to East Timor in 1999 and to Banda Aceh, Indonesia on Operation Sumatra Assist in command of the ANZAC Field Hospital in 2005. She has completed several leadership, management, and tertiary programs over the past two decades.
Georgeina joined the ACT Emergency Services Agency as the Chief Officer of the State Emergency Service in late October 2017. She was subsequently appointed as the Commissioner of the ACT Emergency Services Agency in September 2019. She was appointed as the ACT Emergency Controller and led the ACT response to the 2019 Black Summer Fires. She remains engaged with Defence through Reserve Services as a project officer within the Directorate of Army Health.
Georgeina was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC) in 2004 and was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2006 and awarded a Bar to her Conspicuous Service Cross in the 2016.
She was named ACT Telstra Businesswoman of the year in 2015 and awarded the ACT Public Service Award for Leadership in 2019.
Georgeina is the patron of the ACT Down Syndrome Association and sits on several research and advisory boards that focus on the provision of health and wellness programs to both ADF and Australian Emergency Service First Responders. She is also a member of the Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Male Champions of Change Coalition.
Georgeina is married to Gary a retired Army Officer and Fire Fighter and they have four children. Georgeina’s interests include coaching netball, following the NRL, cooking and watching Gary gardening 😊