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Resources for Frontline Workers and Healthcare Personnel

We recognise the pandemic has significantly impacted your workload, mental health, and overall wellbeing.

To offer our support during this turbulent time, we have created specific resources to provide practical tips, techniques and strategies that help prioritise and tend to your mental health and wellbeing.

Click on the links below to tune in to presentations from the following past-conference presenters, and gain tools and insight to prevent burnout, reduce stress, and support the mental health of yourself and others.

Video #1: Stephanie Donovan - Looking After Yourself: PTSD, Stress and Burnout as a First Responder
Video #2: Dr John Bonning, Dr Clare Skinner, Ray Siauw: Improving Mental Health Care for the ED Workforce
Video #3: Associate Professor Erin Smith: Supporting First Responder Well-Being: What Actually Works?
Video #4: Julian Pace: Reducing Workplace Stress & Building Resilience

DEMC - Stephanie Donovan

Looking After Yourself: PTSD, Stress and Burnout as a First Responder

1556530973463Presentation by Stephanie Donovan (Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service) at the 2021 Disaster & Emergency Management Conference at The Star Gold Coast on 02 September 2021.

This conference presentation will explore how the Mental Health Disaster Recovery Program could be utilised on a broader scale to enhance resilience and provide an overview of symptoms of PTSD, vicarious trauma and job burnout in a first responder role to a disaster event. This can be used to mitigate the potential negative impact of performing a first responder role on mental wellbeing.

This presentation will promote the awareness of the mental health risks inherent in a first responder role and normalise the experience.

You will learn:

  • Evidence based protective factors for mitigating the risk of psychological injury associated with performing a first responder role.
  • How the Mental Health Disaster Recovery Program is supporting the psychological preparedness and resilience of community members.
  • Utility of the program to enhance the resilience of first responders in a disaster across agencies and the wider community.

FMHC - Dr John Bonning, Dr Clare Skinner, Ray Siauw

Improving Mental Health Care for the ED Workforce

Presentation by Dr John Bonning (Australasian College for Emergency Medicine), Dr Clare Skinner (Emergency Medicine, Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital) & Mr Ray Siauw (Royal Hobart Hospital) at the 2021 Frontline Mental Health Conference at the GCCEC on 15 March 2021.

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Tune in as John begins by addressing the mental health of staff, mental health patients and compassion in healthcare – compassion towards patients, amongst staff and to self. Clare discusses the development of the core values, how they are being embedded throughout the emergency medicine profession, and her own approach to living the values. Ray ends this presentation by addressing how to implement organisational strategies at ground level and speak to the wellbeing initiatives implemented within their ED, as well as the motivation and impact it has had on the ED workforce.

You will learn:

  • How to balance the mental health of patients, staff and self
  • The importance of core values in ED health care, and its transition to worker mental health
  • Organisational strategies that can be implemented at a ground level within ED

FMHC - Associate Professor Erin Smith

Supporting First Responder Well-Being: What Actually Works?

downloadPresentation by Associate Professor Erin Smith (Edwin Cowan University) at the 2021 Frontline Mental Health Conference at the GCCEC on 15 March 2021.


Gain insight into the effective methods of supporting the mental health and wellbeing of first responders in this fascinating presentation by Erin Smith.

Erin is a member of the Board of Directors for the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine where she also holds the positions of Convenor of the Psychosocial Special Interest Group and Deputy Chair of the Oceania Chapter.

Erin is a member of the Editorial Boards of the journals Prehospital and Disaster Medicine and the Journal of High Threat and Austere Medicine. An active volunteer in her community, Erin is the Well-Being Team Lead for the Australian Red Cross – Emergency Services Victoria, where she is also an emergency services responder. She is also a Committee Member of The Code 9 Foundation, a charity providing support to first responders and 000 operators who live with mental health conditions resulting from their service to the community.

Erin writes a regular column “Let’s Talk Mental Health” for the Australian Emergency Services Magazine and has also been published in The Conversation and An active researcher in prehospital and disaster response, she is a member of the Research Committee of the Australasian College of Paramedicine where she is also a mentor of early-career researchers.

FMHC - Julian Pace

Reducing Workplace Stress, & Building Resilience.

Untitled design (27)-2Presentation by Julian Pace (Happiness Co) at the 2021 Frontline Mental Health Conference at the GCCEC on 15 March 2021.

Focusing on key aspects of peak and personal performance, Julian's presentation on stress reduction and resilience building is full of practical takeaways to incorporate personally and professionally. Strategies to improve levels of happiness, connection, relationships, confidence, resilience and wellbeing will be explored, as well as the concepts of priming, and creating greater emotional control.

You will learn:

  • How to develop gratitude practices
  • Ways to increase motivation
  • How a healthy lifestyle can impact on your mental health 
  • Ways to break through fear
  • How to stop self-sabotaging

Other Resources


eMHPrac: Managing Your Mental Health Online During COVID-19

This factsheet provides a brief introduction to a range of Australian, evidence-based, free, and low-cost digital mental health resources to help manage mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The types of digital resources suggested include:

- Free phone and online counselling services, including crisis services.
- Online programs and websites providing up-to-date information and targeted treatment for mental health issues.
- Apps providing useful skills and strategies.
- Resources designed specifically for young people or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
- Moderated forums for peer-support.

The factsheet includes digital mental health resources for coping with COVID-19, managing mental health during isolation and/or lockdown, working during COVID-19, frontline workers, healthcare workers, young people, parents, and carers.

CATSINaM, AIDA, IAHA, NATSIHWA: COVID-19 Resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Professionals

"We have put this pack together to assist and support you in this changing environment. It includes tips and information to help you care for yourself, as well as, resources for distribution in your communities." - Taken from resource

eMHPrac: MindSpot: 11 Psychological Tips for Frontline Staff

The challenges for frontline staff working during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic are significant. They are not only serving the community but they are also trying to stay healthy, while often worrying about the health of family and friends. MindSpot has developed this document which describes 11 practical psychological skills to help front line staff stay mentally resilient during this challenging time.

Black Dog Institute: TEN – The Essential Network for Health Professionals

TEN is specifically designed for health professionals and frontline workers in response to COVID-19, which is causing high levels of stress for health care professionals and the risk of ongoing mental health consequences. 

Developed by health professionals for health professionals, TEN provides a single point of entry for self-assessment, information and self-management options to optimise mental health. With COVID-19 specific resources and evidence-based tools and online programs – TEN provides discrete, self-help pathways to support all frontline workers.

Hand-n-Hand Peer Support: PPE for your mind.

Free, confidential peer support for health professionals in Australia and New Zealand.