Most people working in ambulance, fire and rescue, police and state emergency services (SES) manage the demands of the job well. A culture of camaraderie and loyalty can protect the mental health of workers and contribute to their wellbeing.
However, research indicates police and emergency services workers are at greater risk of experiencing anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, and dying by suicide. Between July 2000 and December 2012, 110 police officers, paramedics and fire-fighters took their own lives in Australia.1
The nature of emergency services work means police and emergency services workers routinely face life and death challenges and can witness very distressing situations. Like other workers, they can experience common workplace risks to mental health, such as heavy workloads, high demands, and bullying. Stigma regarding mental health conditions is still prevalent in many traditionally male-dominated occupations, such as emergency services.