Support for mental wellbeing
The UFBA is committed to supporting all brigade members with access to support for mental wellbeing. There are a number of ways to access support and all are free to brigade members. At the moment you may need support with:
- Covid 19 and impacts to your wellbeing - please see links below.
- Addressing bullying and below-the line behaviour - please call us on 0508 832 269
- Support following exposure to trauma - please see telephone numbers for EAP and other services at the bottom of this page.
- Leadership support - please join our waiting list for workshops
If you are worried about your own mental wellbeing and would like to reach out please find some freephone numbers below. Look out for each other and remember It's ok to not be ok.
Covid-19 support and Benevolent Fund
If your business has been impacted you may well be experiencing fear, uncertainty and anxiety. Know that you are not alone. We encourage you to reach out for the most appropriate help for your needs including government access for subsidies - visit here for information (Covid-19.govt.nz).
There's a whole host of other advice available here including links for working remotely, Maori cultural advice, family support and managing anxiety and stress. These are unsettling times so please do reach out for help.
If finances are causing you concern you can ask your OIC or CFO to submit on your behalf an application to the Benevolent Fund - there is a special Covid-19 fund available to ensure you have 'food on the table' to feed your family.
Mike King's Key to Life resources
At our conference in 2018 guest speaker Mike King kindly permitted us to share his resources for those suffering with depression. You can download these below.
UFBA Mental Health First Response workshops
- ‘The course can cut at the core of our being. It provides some tools to better understand ourselves and our colleagues, so we can support each other when it matters.’
Marilyn Barbarich, Nuhaka VFB
Are you prepared to have the difficult conversations with your fellow brigade members? Would you know how to provide support and encourage a safe environment for those suffering to open up?
Our UFBA Mental Health First Response workshop provides you with practical tips and tools to effectively support people in your brigade.
The learnings are just as applicable to everyday life as your role in the brigade. You don't need to be a brigade leader to provide support - many of our attendees are firefighters or operational support people who just want to be able to encourage a safe supportive environment. We encourage all firefighters to get involved. Find out more and register for upcoming workshops here.
Support for advocates: Josh Darby
We support those taking important steps to support fellow brigade members, like Firefighter Josh Darby who presented at UFBA/FRFANZ Conference in November 2019 on his incredible research on psychological impacts in firefighting gained through his studies. Josh has kindly shared his research available to registered members - please contact the UFBA office if you would like a copy.
The UFBA fully supports Josh's work around psychological wellbeing and endorses his practical suggestions for solutions. It is through committed advocates of progress like Josh that our culture will be one of openness that we are all working towards.
Protection against the flu for FENZ personnel
While this may not be for mental health wellbeing - it's just as important to look after your physical wellbeing. Flu vaccinations are now available for Fire and Emergency operational personnel!
While the flu vaccine won’t protect you against COVID-19, it will help to protect you from getting the flu, which infects around one quarter of New Zealanders each year. Reducing the risk of flu hitting emergency personnel means keeping our capability strong, and doing our bit to reduce any additional pressure on our health system caused by flu.
There are different ways to access flu vaccinations, depending on if you are a FENZ volunteer or employee. Volunteers can find information on the portal, or at the link below: https://demo.vitalityhub.co.nz/fenz. Employees can find information at the Flu Vaccinations COVIC-19 Portal page: https://portal.fireandemergency.nz/covid-19/2020-free-flu-vaccinations
If you have questions, please contact Flu@fireandemergency.nz or call 04 498 5667
Download further information in the downloads section at the bottom of this page.
If you are a member of a FENZ brigade you can find support here:
Fire and Emergency NZ Peer Support Specially trained professional colleagues can be contacted directly through the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Communication Centres or through the Regional Safety, Health and Wellbeing (SHW) Advisor.
- Northern Comcen - 09 486 7948
- Central Comcen - 04 801 0812
- Southern Comcen - 03 341 0266
Confidential advice and counselling
- Self-referral contact details for employee assistance programmes in your region for short-term support:
- Region 1,2 and 3 Vitae Services – 0508 664 981, www.vitae.co.nz
- NHQ, Region 4 & 5 EAP Services – 0800 327 669, www.eapservices.co.nz or Workplace Support on 0800 443 445 (Region 4) or 0800 333 200 (Region 5), www.workplacesupport.co.nz