About Us

Emergency Services Foundation

Victoria’s emergency management sector works as one to protect Victorian communities.

The Emergency Service Foundation (ESF) supports the emergency management sector to prevent, promote and address the incidence and impact of mental injury for the 125,000 volunteers and paid staff who serve us.

While every employer has responsibility for looking after the safety and wellbeing of their people, ESF focuses on building collaborative approaches to discover and address factors causing a high incidence of mental injury across the sector.

We know it’s a job where people see and do things on a regular basis that can be very tough to deal with. And the impacts of the job can add up. Beyond Blue’s landmark 2018 national research into the mental health and wellbeing of police and emergency services, Answering the Call, reveals alarming facts.  One in three employees in the sector experience high or very high psychological distress which is a much higher rate than the general adult population, and employees and volunteers report having suicidal thoughts at more than two times the rate of adults in the general population.

The research paints a picture of a workforce which is deeply impacted, both by the nature of the work that they do, and by the pressures of the environments in which they work. The facts compel action. They demand a collaborative, dedicated and sustained approach to strengthen our efforts, and better protect those who protect us.

In partnership with the sector ESF will

Identify and address work-related factors contributing to mental ill health

Drive research to build the evidence base for health promotion and response initiatives

Foster innovation and good practice through the sharing and translation of knowledge

Help to reduce stigma so that people get help early and have the best chance of recovery

Better together. That’s what we aim to be.