icare and EML have hosted the Managing Mental Health Seminar to support NSW government first responder agencies and government employees.

Hosted in Sydney on Monday 8 May, the seminar was designed to equip first responder agencies with best practice, resources and management tools to help managers better assist and support employees who may be struggling to deal with mental health issues.

In his opening address to delegates, EML CEO Mark Coyne shared first-hand accounts from people living with mental health challenges and its impact to their work life.

“Today’s event is about arming peers with the best techniques to support their colleagues, to ensure mental health issues are identified earlier, and that appropriate care and support can be provided to workers who need it the most”, he said.

icare General Manager Health & Community Engagement, Eugene McGarrell, said: “icare’s number one priority is to ensure that first-responder workers suffering from mental illness receive early intervention and the best possible care available to help them recover and return to life safely.”

Speakers during the seminar included:

  • Professor Michael Sullivan - Canadian academic, psychologist and expert in neurology from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec on ‘Perceived Injustice’
  • Paul Whatuira - former rugby league player shared his story of managing mental health issues and his role working with football players at West Tigers
  • Todd Sampson - award-winning documentary-maker, advertising guru, adventurer and businessman spoke about the ‘neuroplasticity of the brain’ and how we can retrain our minds to overcome significant physical and mental challenges.

Speaking at the event NSW mental health commissioner John Feneley, spoke in support of NSW government first responder employees. “NSW’s First Responder emergency services workers form the frontline of the community’s safety 24/7 and it is our responsibility to look after their mental health and wellbeing,” Commissioner Feneley said.