The important and dangerous work you do now can have consequences on your mental health, both immediately and long into the future.
Only relatively recently have we seen an important cultural shift in the way we acknowledge and endeavour to prevent and treat mental health conditions suffered by police as a result of the challenging work you, our members, do.
In recent months, the federal government has shown that it too is taking the mental health of you and your colleagues in other emergency services seriously, by announcing a $2.5 million grant to develop a national framework for ongoing mental health care of police officers and defence force personnel.
The BlueHub will offer services for employees of all policing jurisdictions across the nation, including the Australian Federal Police and other emergency service workers.
The funding will be provided to our national body, The Police Federation of Australia, and we’re delighted that the BlueHub trial will take place right here in Victoria which means that our members will be the first to benefit.
TPAV’s Wellbeing manager, Tim Peck explains the BlueHub initiative in greater detail and what this will mean for TPAV members.
What is BlueHub?
The aim of the BlueHub project is to provide specialised mental health treatment and a more streamlined support for members.
A key aspect of the BlueHub program is the development of a standalone centre of excellence, designed to meet the specific mental health needs of police members.
BlueHub will establish a service provider network that will have quality assurance, training and research functions to enhance the delivery of evidence-based treatments for police members.
The project aims to provide treatment in a timely manner through a streamlined process which will be specific to the policing context.
How will it be funded?
TPAV successfully applied for funding to the Federal Minister of Health and were successful in obtaining a grant through the Police Federation of Australia (PFA).
Negotiations are continuing at state level to provide additional financial resources to develop and expand the model.
It is anticipated that the pilot, if successful, will be expanded to Police agencies in other jurisdictions over time.
Who will oversee its implementation?
TPAV’s Tim Peck and Rick Burton are managing the project and are in the process of establishing the governance structure.
It is planned to be implemented jointly with Victoria Police who remain a key strategic stakeholder in the project.
Wayne Gatt will chair the Project Control Board and President of the PFA Scott Weber will be the Project Sponsor.
We will report progress through the Commonwealth Department of Health.
Why will it be better than current treatment options?
The BlueHub project addresses critical gaps members currently experience by providing specialised mental health treatment and more streamlined referral and access for members.
Much of the criticism of the current model is the frustration experienced by members and their families when attempting to identify suitable clinicians within the public and private health systems.
BlueHub will provide a uniform assessment process the model and access to a network of clinicians who will have access to contemporary training in the treatment of Police and their most common conditions, such as PTSD.
When will BlueHub be up and running?
The operational implementation and commencement of the referral process with quality assessment is anticipated to begin in early 2020.
The initial pilot that began with a treatment provider in Dandenong, which assisted the project, has been running in 2019 which has already produced fantastic results with many members accessing quality treatment quickly and reported satisfaction with the services provided.