In 2017, the PFA secured a $1 million-dollar grant from the Proceeds of Crime Account (POCA) (Section 298) to fund a National Awareness Campaign on Police Officer Mental Wellbeing.
Two key elements of the campaign were a song, ‘Graduation Day’, by acclaimed Australian recording artist John Schumann and a telemovie ‘Dark Blue’. Graduation Day was released on 8 April 2019 and Dark Blue is set to Premiere nationally on 16 July.
The major thrust of the campaign is to break down the stigma attached to emotional illness and for officers to feel comfortable to say that they are doing it tough. The PFA hopes this campaign will be the beginning of further educational and support activities funded by the federal government.
The broad outcomes of the multifaceted and integrated program are anticipated to include:
• Increased awareness of social and emotional well-being/mental health issues -including, but not limited to, psychological injuries incurred by members;
• An established and accepted connection between social and emotional well-being/mental health issues and personal and professional safety;
• Development and implementation of strategies to help preserve members’ social and emotional well-being/mental health;
• Development of culturally relevant and accessible collateral, materials, avenues and pathways to information and help with regard to social and emotional well-being/mental health;
• Encourage early help seeking; and
• Point to pathways for help.
Proceeds to the National Police Foundation to assist police officers, serving and retired, and their families who are in need.
“Just like John Schumann’s classic triumph “I was only 19″, this song will help to change attitudes and build care and respect.” – Professor Pat McGorry AO
“The song owes everything to all the police officers around Australia who trusted me with their stories. The stories were very hard to listen to – but I got a real insight into what it means to go to work every day to keep the community safe and then come home with a head full of barbed wire without knowing how to talk about it or what to do about it.” – John Schumann
Click here to play video clip
“Based on true stories of real police, ‘Dark Blue’ is sadly a realistic look into the world of policing, well beyond the thin blue line…and into the world of the emotional trauma experienced within policing”
Click here to view Dark Blue
It is designed to:
- increase your awareness and understanding of common mental health issues;
- help you recognise emerging mental health issues in yourself, your workmates and your family;
- make the connection between your mental health and your personal safety;
- give you a few simple strategies to help preserve your mental health and that of your family and friends; and
- direct you to some pathways to help – for yourselves, your friends and your family
A Cop In The Family
It explains why police work sometimes brings about psychological changes – and how we can work together to ensure that these changes don’t destroy otherwise good family relationships.
A LITTLE BIT OF UNDERSTANDING COULD SAVE YOUR RELATIONSHIP
A LITTLE BIT OF UNDERSTANDING COULD SAVE YOUR FAMILY
A LITTLE BIT OF UNDERSTANDING COULD SAVE A LIFE
As part of the overall campaign, a series of workplace posters have been developed for police stations and other publications to help spread the message. Click on the image below to view or download the full-size poster.