A Movember-funded online program to empower paramedics’ loved ones.Image by: Movember
11 May 2023

Minds Together: Family and friends supporting the mental health of paramedics

3 minutes read time

Paramedics are heroes in our community, playing an essential and irreplaceable role in saving lives and providing critical care. Their dedication and bravery make them one of the most trusted professions in Australia. However, the demanding nature of their work, with constant exposure to trauma, long and unpredictable hours, and a reluctance to seek help, takes a toll on their mental well-being. Shockingly, paramedics are nearly twice as likely as the general population to experience mental ill-health.

The vital role of family and friends

In times of greatest need, family and friends are the pillars of support for Australia's 21,000 registered paramedics. They offer invaluable practical and emotional assistance, providing comfort and understanding. Yet, this crucial role can be challenging and impact caregivers' own time, finances, and emotions. Sadly, there has been a lack of resources available to equip and support these unsung heroes.

Understanding the challenges

Dr. Sally Fitzpatrick, Everymind Program Manager and Clinical Psychologist, acknowledges the incredible job paramedics do, but also recognises the inherent stress in their profession. Recent events like the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters have only added to their burden. As a result, paramedics experience higher levels of psychological distress, trauma, PTSD, and suicidal behaviour. In these trying times, family and friends become their primary support network.

Empowering support systems

While family and friends are eager to help, they may feel overwhelmed, worried, or unsure about the best ways to provide support. Everymind, in partnership with Movember, has developed an innovative and free online program: Minds Together. This ground-breaking initiative aims to improve support for those who love, live with, or care for a paramedic experiencing symptoms of mental ill-health or suicidal distress.

The Minds Together program

Minds Together is a self-paced and interactive online program designed to equip participants with the skills, knowledge, and confidence needed to support their loved ones effectively. This comprehensive program empowers caregivers to strengthen coping mechanisms, enhance communication skills and relationships, reduce stress and worry, and gain practical insights into mental ill-health and suicidal distress. Additionally, participants can connect with others who are supporting family members or friends in similar situations.

Movember's commitment to mental health

Movember teamed up with The Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride to fund a variety of global projects under the Veterans and First Responders Mental Health Grant Program. This collaborative $8.37 million AUD initiative supports veterans and first responders, as well as their families. Minds Together were selected to be one of the many projects funded under this grant and aims to validate their program's benefits and evaluate its effectiveness in improving the lives of paramedic supporters.

We hold immense gratitude towards our veterans and first responder communities. Movember is dedicated to supporting our grant-funding partners in their mission to demonstrate the positive impact of their programs on mental health outcomes. Our goal is to generate compelling evidence for programs that genuinely transform the lives of these individuals and their families.

Join the research trial

Family and friends have the opportunity to contribute to the advancement of mental health support for paramedics by participating in the research trial of the Minds Together program. You can become part of this transformative initiative and make a significant impact on the well-being of those who selflessly dedicate their lives to saving others.

We stand in awe of the incredible work done by paramedics and recognise the challenges they face in their line of duty. Through Minds Together, we are determined to provide the necessary support to their unsung heroes—their family and friends. Together, let's build a community that uplifts, empowers, and nurtures the well-being of those who stand by our paramedics every step of the way. Join us on this important journey towards stronger mental health and brighter futures.

Sign up now or learn more information about the Minds Together program HERE.