Firefighters encouraged to seek wellbeing support

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Firefighters encouraged to seek wellbeing support

Fire and Emergency New Zealand supports Mental Health Awareness Week says Brendan Nally, Deputy Chief Executive People.

“We’re actively trying to break down the stereotype of a “tough” firefighter who is reluctant to ask for help,” Brendan Nally says.

“It’s important that our people know it’s okay not to be okay.

“Firefighters do a remarkable job of protecting life, property and our environment in some extremely challenging circumstances.

“Whether it be a fire, a medical callout, car crash or rescuing an animal, our people are here to help and keep our communities safe.”

“The nature of the job means firefighters often turn up to help members of the community at particularly difficult times in their lives.

“Responding to emergencies can be as psychologically demanding as it is physically which is why we are committed to ensuring there are no barriers to our people and their families accessing wellbeing support,” Brendan Nally says.

Fire and Emergency provide a range of free and confidential support services which can be used for personal or work related matters. Services include counselling, professional psychological support, peer support, dedicated safety health and wellbeing advisors, a health monitoring programme, chaplaincy, and tikanga Māori-based services.

“We encourage firefighters to reach out and access psychological support when they need it,” Brendan Nally says.

“These services aren’t just available to frontline firefighters, but can also be accessed by our communication centres, support staff and family members.

“Families are also impacted when their firefighter family member attends an emotionally challenging call out and we’re really grateful for their support and understanding.”

“Counselling services are available to immediate family members if they need it for any reason.”

There have also been over 40 psychological wellbeing workshops across the country this year to help people better manage their own wellbeing and support those around them.