An in-depth study into the mental health and wellbeing of Victoria Police found that more than 80% of employees had been exposed to or experienced a traumatic event throughout their career. In comparison, the general community’s exposure to a potentially traumatic event is estimated to be considerably less (between 50-75%).
With high trauma exposure for Victoria Police employees, it is therefore hardly surprising to learn that approximately 32% of Victoria Police employees have experienced mild to extremely severe symptoms of depression, and approximately 90% have experienced some degree of burnout from their work.
We know that mental ill-health can have a negative and debilitating impact on an individual, their work, family, and social lives. Stigma associated with mental illness also remains a very real issue worldwide, with there being no exception for the first responder profession. With the (real or perceived) issue of career damage that employees feel they will encounter due to experiencing mental ill-health, 61% of respondents to the study indicated they prefer to manage their own mental health and wellbeing difficulties rather than openly seeking help from a health professional.
Bluespace was therefore created for current and former employees and their families, with the aim of helping provide access to information about mental health and wellbeing issues, as well as resources and services that may be of further assistance.
Bluespace aims to increase the recognition of early warning signs, provide evidence-informed resources about mental health issues, and clarify useful ways for people to engage with and support those who may be experiencing mental ill-health. The content on this website has been created through consultation with more than 4,000 people (current employees, former employees, and family members) who have provided insight into desired content and method of delivery. Results from the 2017 Victoria Police Mental Health and Wellbeing Study and Snapshot surveys were also used to inform the content development of this website.
Bluespace further aims to complement the equipt wellbeing app; a free app developed by Victoria Police and The Police Association Victoria (TPAV) for members and their families. Equipt provides self-care tools that can help strengthen physical, social, and emotional health, and offers strategies to manage emotions, stress, healthy sleep hygiene, staying active and positive. It can measure and track your wellbeing over time and put you in touch with additional support if and when you need it.
To make an enquiry or to provide feedback about anything you find on this website, please contact Victoria Police's Mental Health Centre of Excellence and Innovation at email@example.com