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Accessing Support

Confidential support services are available to all Ambulance Victoria staff, first responders and their immediate family members.

Family member
Internal Psychologist
VACU Clinician
24/7 Counselling Line
Peer Support
Pastoral Care
RAFE
AV Employee

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Retired / former employee

Yes*

Yes*

Yes*

Yes*

Yes*

Yes

Spouse / partner

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Dependent children

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

No

Sibling

No

No

No

No

Yes

No

* only available in the first 12 months post-employment with Ambulance Victoria

Support Services at Ambulance Victoria

Mental health clinicians within AV – Internal Psychology team

At Ambulance Victoria we have a team of Psychologists that are available to provide quality, evidence-based psychological support. Click here for more information on what a Psychologist does and how they can help.

Appointments with our internal Psychologists are covered by Ambulance Victoria up to 6 sessions, with additional sessions available as clinically indicated. You can seek out an appointment with one of our internal Psychologists by enquiring via vacu@ambulance.vic.gov.au.

Mental health clinicians outside of AV – VACU Network

If you are looking for support from a mental health clinician for you or your eligible family member, AV gives you access to 6 face-to face or telehealth appointments with a member of the VACU network per financial year. Additional sessions may be offered by request as clinically indicated. These sessions are fully funded by Ambulance Victoria. The VACU (Victorian Ambulance Clinician’s Unit) is an external network of over 120 contracted clinicians across Victoria, which includes Psychologists and Mental Health Social Workers.  You can organise an appointment with a VACU clinician by contacting them directly; a referral is not needed. Click here to see the full list of VACU clinicians available, their contact details, location and specialities.

1800 MANERS 24/7 Counselling Line

Our counselling line operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with a psychologist available for immediate support. This counselling line can be utilised by AV employees, first reponders, and their family members. In addition you can access this line even if you are already linked in with a psychologist. The counselling line can offer unlimited support in times of need, as well as assist with referral to a clinician from our VACU network. You can access the 24/7 counselling line by calling 1800 MANERS (1800 626 377) and selecting option 2.

Peer support workers

The Peer Support team are a diverse team of AV employees and first reponders that are trained to provide immediate peer support following difficult work experiences including major incidents and events. They come from different roles across the organisation and as such understand the unique challenges staff face in their work at AV. It’s important to know that Peers are not counsellors but complete regular training and professional development to be able to deliver psychological first aid and can help with accessing referral pathways to other services. Peer Support is available 24/7 by calling 1800 MANERS (1800 626 377) and selecting option 1.

Pastoral Care

Pastoral Care (Chaplaincy) is about listening and supporting a person through any issues or challenges they may be dealing with. Bound by similar professional standards as our psychologists and mental health clinicians on the VACU network, pastoral care augments other wellbeing supports like Psychology and Social work to ensure well-rounded, holistic care.

Chaplains provide pastoral care and support when questions about religion, life, death, meaning, hope and loss arise. Our chaplaincy team are based state-wide with support from a large volunteer chaplaincy network, and have a broad range of expertise. Chaplains are available for anyone, regardless of religious affiliation. You can access our Chaplains by calling 1800 MANERS and selecting option 3.

Retired and Former Employees (RAFE)

The Retired and Former Employees (RAFE) program is available to employees who have finished their career with AV and are seeking support and connection. Similar to our Peer Support network, RAFE volunteers undertake the Peer Support Foundational Learning Program and are trained in psychological first aid. In addition to the RAFE program, retired and former employees are also eligible to access psychological services through the VACU network for up to 12 months (maximum of 6 sessions) post-AV employment. You can contact our RAFE volunteers at RAFE.PeerSupport@ambulance.vic.gov.au.

To see the actions we are taking over the next 3 years to cultivate, maintain and strengthen the mental wellbeing of our workforce, read the Mental Health and Wellbeing Action Plan here.

Resources

Quick links, helplines and useful resources for you and your loved ones.

24-hour support services

1800 MANERS

1800 626 377
Ambulance Victoria wellbeing and support service.

Beyond Blue

1300 22 4636
Information, support and discussion boards on a wide range of mental health issues.

Kids Helpline
1800 55 1800
Helpline and online counselling support for young people aged 5-25 years of age.

Lifeline
13 11 14
Crisis support and suicide prevention provided via online chat, text and telephone.

MensLine Australia
1300 78 99 78
Telephone and online counselling for people affected by suicide.

Suicide Call Back Service
1300 659 467
27/7 telephone and online counselling for people affected by suicide.

Specific Mental Health Issues

Aspect Australia
1800 277 328
Understanding, engaging and supporting people of all ages on the autism spectrum.

Butterfly Foundation
1800 33 4673
Online and telephone support provided by mental health professionals for anyone concerned about eating disorders or body image issues, including families, and loved ones.

Carers Australia
1800 422 737
National support service for carers and their families.

DirectLine
1800 888 236
Confidential alcohol and drug counselling and referral in Victoria.

Gambling Help
24/7 online support for anyone affected by gambling.

Griefline
1300 845 745
Grief counselling, community support forums, and helpful resources.

Headspace
1800 650 890
Resources, group chats and online support for young people aged 12-25 years and their families.

Phoenix Australia
Australian National Centre of Excellence for Post-Traumatic mental health, with PTSD-specific resources.

QLife
1800 650 890
LGBTI peer support and referral for people wanting to talk about sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships.

Sane
1800 187 263
Support service for complex mental health issues

Relationships and family violence

1800 RESPECT
1800 737 732
National online and phone service offering counselling and information for people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse.

Relationships Australia
1300 364 277
Relationship support services for individuals, families, and communities.

Safe Steps
1800 015 188
Victoria’s 24/7 family violence response centre, including crisis support, accommodation & safety planning.