The NSW Minister for Mental Health, the Hon. Rose Jackson and The NSW Minister for Emergency Services, The Hon. Jihad Dib – met with key industry leaders on 21st of March 2024 at -NSW Parliament House, to launch the updated Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in emergency service workers.


The new guidelines will provide emergency workers suffering PTSD, their families, and carers with a clearer means for accessing specific and required support. The guidelines aim to provide treating practitioners, therapeutic providers and workers compensation groups with updated procedures for best practice when diagnosing or treating emergency services with PTSD.

Professor Sam Harvey, Black Dog Institute said “Today we are launching the update of the treatment guidelines for PTSD in emergency service workers. This is something that Black Dog Institute has been developing in partnership with EML who funded the first version of the guidelines that we launched 10 years ago in 2015, what we’ve done today is to update them. The need for the guidelines remains the same, we have one in ten emergency service workers or volunteers develop post traumatic stress disorder and we know many of them, even when they do reach out and ask for help don’t get the best quality treatment. That was the aim of the guidelines ten years ago was to change that, and it did.”

The launch saw an esteemed panel of experts including NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb, Consultant Psychiatrist Karen Williams, RFS Volunteer Firefighter Elisabeth Goh and UNSW School of Psychology Professor Richard Bryant, engage in meaningful discussion on the importance of understanding treatment expectations for optimal management and recovery from psychological injuries in first responders.

The Minister for NSW Police and Counter Terrorism, Yasmin Catley, showed support on the day as well as members of the Liberal, Labour and Green parties.

Commenting on EML’s role in funding the research, CEO, EML Management, Don Ferguson spoke proudly of the effort to help improve the support and return to work outcomes of emergency services personnel suffering PTSD.

“EML supports the claims services for NSW Police Force, Fire and Rescue Service NSW, NSW Rural Fire Service and NSW State Emergency Services. We are privileged to launch the First Responders PTSD Expert Guideline Update, an extensive collaboration aimed at enhancing the support and care provided to our brave first responders, the people that are there for us in in our hours of need.
I want to extend my gratitude to Professor Samuel Harvey, from Black Dog Institute and Professor Richard Bryant from the School of Psychology University of New South Wales who have dedicated their time, knowledge, and passion to develop these invaluable guidelines.” Said Don.

These guidelines not only serve as a roadmap for clinicians and emergency services but also reflect our collective commitment to ensuring that every injured first responder receives the best possible care and support.

The update of the guidelines has already begun shaping the landscape of PTSD management. These guidelines are not just recommendations; they are becoming standard processes for clinicians and are revitalising our approach to psychological injuries.

You can read the Expert Guidelines: Diagnosis and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder in emergency service workers on the EML website here: PTSD guidelines | EML