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This strategy sets out the commitment of NSW first responder agencies to promote and protect the mental health and wellbeing of their staff and members. It represents a consensus among the agencies about what is required to meet this obligation.

In NSW, first responder organisations include: NSW Police Force, Fire & Rescue NSW, NSW Ambulance, the Rural Fire Service of NSW, the NSW State Emergency Service (SES), Marine Rescue NSW and the Volunteer Rescue Association (VRA).

The publication of this document represents the first time in Australia’s history that first responder agencies have collaborated to develop a shared mental health and wellbeing strategy. The milestone achievement was made possible by the Mental Health Commission of New South Wales, which brought the agencies together and facilitated the strategy’s development, and the Black Dog Institute, which provided the evidence base to support the strategy direction. UNSW researcher and workplace mental health expert Associate Professor Sam Harvey, who is based at the Black Dog Institute, was the strategy’s lead author.


Police Under Pressure – Roger Peters PhD

Managing the impact of trauma – Roger Peters PhD

Your life matters – Petrea King

The Body Keeps the Score – Bessel Van Der Kolk

Traumatic Stress:  The effects of overwhelming experience on mind, body, and society, audiobook – Bessel Van Der Kolk

Healing Trauma:  Restoring the Wisdom of the body audiobook – Peter Levine

Waking the Tiger – Peter Levine

The way of the wound – Robert Grant PhD

The Journey from abandonment to healing – Susan Anderson

It didn’t start with you – Mark Wolynn

Healing Collective Trauma – Thomas Hubl

Healing Collective Trauma 3 video series – Thomas Hubl

Stumbling on Happiness – Daniel Gilbert

The Art of Happiness – Dalai Lama

Burnout;  A Guide to identifying burnout and pathways to recovery – Professor Gordon Parker, Gabriela Tavella & Kerrie Eyers

Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement (A guide for officers and their families) – Kevin M. Gilmartin, PhD


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