Individual and agency: maximising the impacts of a positive change culture on mental health
Within the world of Frontline and Emergency Services, the impact of diagnosed or diagnosable mental illness in the workplace has never been higher or more visible. Despite this, many organisations continue to struggle with the effective management of psychological risk.
By addressing attitudes, education, and cultural change by supporting workforces through proven evidence based educational approaches, we can create a proactive combined approach of compassionate, empathetic leadership, individual self-reflection and positive help seeking behaviours.
Marks presentation will focus on the need to instigate change attitudes at all levels of a workplace to maintain optimal success. Furthermore, he will focus on the positive impact that correct evidence-based educational programs, such as Road to Mental Readiness (R2MR) can have on encouraging a long term mentally healthy workplace. Resulting in:
• Reduced stigma and open conversation around mental health
• Increased mental fitness (resilience)
• Improved emotional intelligence
• Strengthened internal agency leadership
This presentation focuses on the documented success surrounding R2MR in Emergency Services and First Responder Agencies. Delivered from the point of view of a mental health advocate who went from cynic to a career changing passion for effective and efficient programs.
Key learning outcomes:
1) Shared Responsibility in addressing poor mental health
2) reducing stigma and barriers to care to promote personal coping strategies
3) key evidence informed fundamentals of mental health training in Emergency Services and First Responder Agencies.
Following an initial start in Psychology, Mark joined West Midland Ambulance Service (UK) on a graduate entry Paramedic program. He has enjoyed a varied and decorated career spanning more than 18 years in both England and Australia.
As an experienced Intensive Care Paramedic and Operations Manager for the ACT Ambulance Service (ACTAS), he has a strong reputation in both clinical and managerial standards. His work spans most areas of ambulance – including as a Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) operative – command and control, emergency management and incident response. He also has active experience as a ACTAS Peer Support Officer and service Peer Support Co-Ordinator, as well as a stint as the ACT Emergency Service Agency (ESA) Senior Director Welfare Programs.
Following on from this passion for positive mental health and peer wellbeing within First Responder Agencies, Mark became a professional trainer in the Canadian evidence-informed Road to Mental Readiness (R2MR) and The Working Mind (TWM) programs. This connection saw Mark develop his skills as a Lifeline Crisis Support Volunteer and further still in a permanent role as Business Development and Programs Manager for Lifeline Canberra.
Currently, Mark as been able to bring his work passions together into a role that covers all aspects of the above and more within the National Management Team of St John Ambulance Australia.
Mark is highly driven and personally motivated towards promoting quality clinical education and reducing the stigma surrounding mental health. He is known for his work actively promoting positive change within work cultures that encourage early access to care – especially within the world of frontline emergency services.