Ambulance services workers face obvious and unique mental health challenges in addition to the rewards of their line of work. Unsurprisingly, the incidence of mental health problems amongst emergency services workers is considerably higher than in other professions, with suicide rates at Ambulance Victoria (AV) significantly higher than the Victorian average and of other emergency services providers. For too long we had accepted that injury, including psychological injury, was just part of the job for AV people, an assumption that is unacceptable and simply cannot be allowed to continue. Reform is now underway at AV to improve the mental health and wellbeing of our staff and volunteers. This includes a Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy developed through extensive consultation with our staff, their families and unions as well as a unique partnership with beyondblue to deliver training to all staff to improve understanding of mental health and reduce stigma around mental illness, keep people safe and improve their mental health. In this presentation Tony will provide an overview of the changes underway to make AV a mentally healthy workplace.
Tony Walker ASM is Chief Executive Officer of Ambulance Victoria. He has is Registered Paramedic with over three decades experience working in a range of senior clinical, operational and leadership roles within the ambulance sector. Over past four years Tony has led significant transformation at Ambulance Victoria to improve the health and wellbeing of their workforce and the response they provide to the community. Tony holds an adjunct appointment as Associate Professor in the College of Health and Biomedicine at Victoria University and is a Fellow of Paramedics Australasia, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Managers and Leaders, and a Board Director of the Emergency Services Foundation, the Australasian Council of Ambulance Authorities and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. Tony is a recipient of the Ambulance Service Medal (ASM) for his contribution to the development of ambulance services at a state and national level and has also been awarded the National Heart Foundation President’s Award and the Australian Resuscitation Council Medal for his significant contributions to improving cardiovascular health and resuscitation practice and outcomes.
Tony Walker ASM is Chief Executive Officer of Ambulance Victoria. He has is Registered Paramedic with over three decades experience working in a range of senior clinical, operational and leadership roles within the ambulance sector.