Knowledge Hub

This Knowledge Hub provides emergency service staff and volunteers with information to make evidence-based decisions to improve mental health and wellbeing.  It supports ESF’s strategic objectives to drive research and foster innovation for the purpose of improving mental health and wellbeing in Victoria’s emergency services sector.

The hub shares results and findings from high-quality research to answer the question:

What is needed and what works for improving mental health and wellbeing in the unique working environments of emergency service agencies?


In January 2018 Dr Rob Gordon wrote in the Australian Journal of Emergency Management

Recovery is now integral to emergency management, although the concept is barely 30 years old; being introduced in the mid-1980s. It is now a priority alongside prevention, preparedness and response, but is not yet well understood, lacking consensus about the priorities and methods for effective recovery.

Following individuals and communities after emergencies shows recovery is a complex and poorly understood process full of challenges and adjustments. During this  time there is risk of losing more than was affected by the event itself.

Poorly managed recovery is often identified as ‘the second disaster’; the unnecessary one. Anecdotal evidence indicates that the quality of a person’s recovery depends more on how well they manage the recovery years than what the event does. To minimise long-term destructive consequences, greater understanding of recovery is needed.

About trauma, reactions and recovery

Traumatic events leave an indelible mark on many people – from individuals, to families, to emergency service providers, to whole communities, even an entire nation.

This enlightening podcast will help you better understand the impact of trauma on people’s lives, how to deal with trauma and how to help others with their recovery.

Trauma experts Dr Rob Gordon and Anne Leadbeater share valuable insights on coping with trauma, helping others who have experienced trauma, and seeking different ways to move forward.

A Reference For Parents Who Work As First Responders

A new reference for parents who work as first responders has been produced by Emerging Minds, an organisation dedicated to advancing the mental health and emotional wellbeing of Australian infants, children, adolescents and their families.

It is inevitable that many children are fearful knowing mum or dad are involved in responding to a disaster when they go to work. Knowing your children are suffering can be a burden that contributes to an individual’s mental health and wellbeing.

ESF received funding to Chair a WorkWell Learning Network for the Victorian Emergency Services sector

The Emergency Services Foundation (ESF) is thrilled to have received funding by WorkSafe to Chair a WorkWell Learning Network for the Victorian emergency services sector. As Learning Network Chair ESF will bring workplaces and experts together to share ideas and knowledge to collaboratively design and implement workplaces initiatives that create long term, sustainable and organisational-wide change for safe and mentally healthy work environments.

Learn more

Improving Mental Health Support for Emergency Workers

The Andrews Labor Government is delivering on its key election commitment to support emergency workers through early intervention by providing them access to urgent mental health treatment as soon as they identify a problem.

Mental Health Early Intervention Pilot – Media Release