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‘It’s about culture’: Ray Hadley and Julia Gillard continue the fight against PTSD

Article image for ‘It’s about culture’: Ray Hadley and Julia Gillard continue the fight against PTSD

Ray Hadley and Julia Gillard are continuing the fight for improved mental health support for our first responders.

Last week a Senate committee handed down its major review of government responses to the high rates of mental health issues among emergency services personnel.

The inquiry is recommending new laws around Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and compulsory mental health awareness training.

The report draws heavily on Beyond Blue’s landmark Answering the call survey of over 21,000 current and former police, firefighters and paramedics across Australia.

Former prime minister and Chair of Beyond Blue, Julia Gillard, welcomes the findings, telling Ray Hadley “there’s always a gap between a recommendation for change and it happening”.

“Beyond Blue will keep campaigning to make sure that the good words of the Senate report get into action right around the country.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

Ray highlights a major hurdle in improving mental health awareness is changing the perceptions around mental illness.

“It’s about culture as well… in many instances, particularly in my knowledge of the Police, if you put your hand up you can be viewed as being weak.

“Unfortunately, the people who would view you as being weak are also suffering in some form from PTSD.”

Ms Gillard agrees these cultural factors are “incredibly important” because they found people would be happy to support a co-worker but would never admit to needing help themselves.

NSW Police Commissioner Michael Fuller called up Ben Fordham on Tuesday to say officers are provided with a number of initiatives to improve their mental health.

“I just don’t want the police and the community to the think that the government and the commissioner don’t take this seriously,” he says.

“I’m not suggesting we get it right on every occasion but I really feel there’s been a significant commitment to this.”

The Commissioner says he will be doing the NSW Police Legacy Kokoda Trek to raise money for the families of fallen officers.

“I’m training hard every day so I am certainly committed to getting through the 10 days and raising some good money,” he says.

Click PLAY to hear the full phone call

If you or someone you know needs help, call Lifeline on 13 11 14

Or you can call Beyond Blue on 1300 224 646

Ray Hadley