St John Ambulance Northern Territory is taking a proactive role in protecting the mental health of its staff and volunteers, with today’s rollout of e-learning program Mindarma. The new evidence-based program was developed based on world-first research and has been customised to reflect the unique experiences of Northern Territory ambulance workers and volunteers.
Mindarma has been designed to enhance resilience, develop mindfulness and equip workers with a range of essential psychological skills. It was created following a successful randomised control trial, which was conducted in collaboration with Fire and Rescue NSW, the University of NSW and the Black Dog Institute. Results of this research study, undertaken with 143 first responders, were recently published and show an impressive range of mental health benefits. These include significant increases in psychological resilience, mindfulness, optimism and the use of healthy coping strategies.
The rollout of Mindarma is part of a concerted effort within St John Ambulance Northern Territory to protect and enhance the psychological health of its staff and volunteers.
Developing mindfulness is a key focus of the interactive ten session program. Through Mindarma, learners discover what to do when faced with difficult thoughts, uncomfortable emotions and times of high stress. The program also promotes help-seeking behaviour, encourages the development of healthy coping strategies and allows learners to develop their own personalised plan of action for especially tough days on the job.
Psychologist Dr Sadhbh Joyce developed Mindarma with the aim of bringing the best possible support to those who work in service to others occupations. “For long-term wellbeing, it’s vital those who take on these challenging roles are equipped with the right knowledge and skills. That’s why it is fantastic St John Ambulance are commitment to taking real action and investing in the mental health of their staff and volunteers.” says Joyce.
The release of Mindarma to St John Ambulance Northern Territory follows successful rollouts at NSW Ambulance and Fire and Rescue NSW. Last week, Fire and Rescue NSW’s rollout of Mindarma won the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authority’s “Leading Practice in Mental Health Award”. Mindarma is also a finalist at the upcoming Australian Psychological Society Workplace Excellence Awards and the Resilient Australia Awards.
Mindarma is now also being used to enhance resilience and support workers across a wide range of other high stress roles, including hospital workers, aged care workers and journalists.