Victoria Police Wellbeing Services
This service includes:
- Police Psychology Unit
- Peer Support Network
- Internal Witness Support
The Police Association Victoria
This service includes:
- Wellbeing Services
- Critical Incident Advice and Support
- Legal and Discipline Advice
Contact on (03) 9468 2600
Access the websites below for more information about mental health conditions and services that are available.
Provides information and facts about mental illnesses, online self-testing, current evidence-based treatments, and advice for seeking support for a mental health concern.
Black Dog Institute
Offers information and facts about mental illnesses and wellbeing, online self-testing, and current evidence-based treatments.
A national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
Head to health
Australia has great mental health services and resources, but it can be tough finding the ones that suit you best. Head to health makes your search easier by hand-picking resources from publicly funded providers.
The Australian Psychological Society
The peak body for psychologists in Australia. Provides information and facts of mental health and wellbeing topics, and hosts tools to assist members of the public to better understand the Medicare system and psychological services, and to find a registered psychologist.
A national mental health charity working to support individuals who are affected by complex mental illness. SANE’s work includes mental health awareness, online peer support and information, stigma reduction, specialist helpline support, research and advocacy.
Phoenix Australia- Centre for Post traumatic Mental Health
National centre of excellence that promotes recovery for Australians affected by trauma.
Offers information to improve people’s confidence to meaningfully connect with and support others.
Setting up psychological support for yourself
A frequently asked question to Victoria Police Wellbeing Services is “shouldn’t 12 monthly appointments with a mental health specialist be mandatory for all emergency service employees?”
In the past, mandatory appointments have been used in policing organisations and with specialist squads as a way of checking-in with employees who are frequently exposed to potentially traumatic events. Often employees feel that this type of service could act as a safety-net of sorts for people who are reluctant to put up their hand or who might be experiencing early signs of difficulty.
While this appears to make sense, there are a number of limitations to this approach, which has meant that there is very little evidence of mandatory check-ins being an effective early intervention. Some limitations to this approach are:
- Check-ins become a ‘tick the box’ for individuals as there is little opportunity when seeing a clinician on an annual basis to develop the rapport that creates a safe enough space to speak honestly
- An annual (or bi-annual) check may have already missed the onset of symptoms as employees may wait until their appointment instead of seeking help when they first notice a decline in their mental health
- There are concerns about check-ins being associated with fitness for duty and unclear parameters about reporting
- Balancing any consequences for refusal to attend with protecting employees’ autonomy over their own mental health needs. It is important for individuals to retain autonomy regarding decision-making about their own health. Making appointments mandatory can have the reverse effect and entrench stigma and fear in some people
- Reduced responsibility of local managers to create healthy workplaces
- Individual check-ins do not attend to the well-established variety of factors that contribute to wellbeing and mental health, such as leadership, work climate, morale, job demands, job control, workplace stigma, and other cultural factors. By focusing on the individual, we do not focus on the environmental factors that are equally, if not more, impactful.
For these reasons, Victoria Police Wellbeing Services provide a range of supports and interventions for both the workplace factors that impact mental health and wellbeing, and the individual, we just don’t provide it in the form of a mandatory check.
There are a number of avenues of support available to members, employees and their families, some of which are 24/7 for crisis support. We also encourage employees to use the range of monitoring and self-check avenues available to them, such as Safe-T-Net and Equipt, and other resources listed on this website but to also engage with colleagues, peer support officers, welfare officers and psychologists/social workers as needed.
Having said this, if you feel that a regular check-in would be beneficial to you, we encourage you to take advantage of the Employee Assistance Program available to any past or present Victoria Police employee, and their families. There is nothing stopping you from organising your own self-check with a clinician through this service!
Mental health interventions are most effective when the client is motivated to attend, and importantly, is attending at the right time for them!
Early intervention is definitely considered best practice and being pro-active around mental health is vital if people at Victoria Police are to stay well in the job. There is lots of working going on to encourage such proactivity including more education, better access to reputable information and up-skilling managers in the organisation to have these conversations.
Our aim is to continue to reduce stigma and improve help-seeking so that there is no need for mandatory checking, but also to create the capability of all of our employees to recognise when they or those around them need support.