Adam Phillips firmly believes mental health is an issue that needs to be openly discussed.
“The more and more it’s talked about, the better,” Mr Phillips said.
“You can’t bottle it up.”
Mr Phillips is a Grampians region advanced life support paramedic and said mental health issues, such as depression and post traumatic stress disorder, were a huge risk in his job, as with other emergency services.
In June, Ambulance Victoria and beyondblue announced a $3.7 million mental health program for paramedics, whose suicide rate is four times higher than the average profession.
A recent Victoria Police review, for which 450 officers were interviewed, also found there needed to be substantial investment and cultural change to repair its mental health crisis.
“It’s the traumatic events we attend but it’s not necessarily those things that tip you over the edge.”
He said, while a whole spectrum of mental health issues were more prevalent, they were also becoming less stigmatised.
“We’re hearing about it more and more.
“But it’s still a misnomer that if you’re not physically ill, you’re not ill.”
However, he said appropriate support networks were vital for people suffering from mental health issues.
“You need communication and turning to experts in the field. You need to use your support services, family and friends.
“Appropriate support networks have a huge role in letting these health issues not become so huge.”
Mr Phillips said he used strategies such as making sure he had good sleep patterns, looked after his physical health and had a structured routine outside of work to help him cope and look after his mental health.
“We can’t control what we do at work so it’s about being able to control other parts of our life.”
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