Fire & Emergency Services Support Network (FESSN) uses a team of highly qualified psychologists employed by QFES to apply the best practice and industry experience to promote and support the Mental Health and Wellbeing of the QFES community.
Proactively, FESSN seeks to keep Queensland Fire & Emergency Service (QFES), its leaders and members, informed and skilled to provide a resilient and safe workforce. Reactively, FESSN maintains a network of high quality support – counselling and peer support – ready and accessible to meet the wellbeing needs of QFES members and their immediate family.
FESSN aims to promote well-being by helping staff, volunteers and their immediate family, manage work-related and/or personal difficulties.
FESSN has grown out of the combination of the separate programs, beginning in 1992, that existed under Fire (FireCare) and SES (EMBrace). Holding onto the proud reputation that each of these programs held, FESSN uses the titles of FireCare and SESCare to denote the Peer Support programs within the one QFES agency model.
Importantly, FESSN, unlike many other organisations, has the mental health and wellbeing of the QFES community at its foundation, however this presents as a unique challenge. Exposure to graphic and potentially distressing scenes is both a risk factor for the development of Mental Health challenges and a common part of the working life of operational QFES members.
Research shows that First Responders are more likely to be diagnosed with mental conditions like Depression, Anxiety, or Posttraumatic Stress. Furthermore, evidence shows that this risk cumulates with each new exposure. In response, QFES has developed a large and motivated group of PSOs to play a critical role in the support of its members.
Built from the strong personal stance on the importance of supporting our people that has been held by successive leaders, FESSN strives to ensure that we always look after our own. With the commitment to support from our leaders and the rich history of applying psychological understanding to supporting a community who regularly confronts human challenge, FESSN has developed a program that understands the challenges of our workforce and knows how to provide the right psychological support.
FESSN Core Services
FESSN incorporates the following core services:
QFES hosts two peer support programs:
FireCare - support for members associated with FRS & RFS
SESCare - support for members associated with SES
The QFES Peer Support Program supports the whole QFES workforce including personnel from all three services, capabilities and corporate divisions.
Click here for the PSO contact list
Confidential Professional Counselling - an independent network of highly qualified mental health professionals, selected for their experience and work within Fire and Emergency Services, who are available to all QFES members (staff and volunteers) and their immediate family.
Click here for the External Counsellor contact list
24 Hour Telephone Counselling – Free Call 1800 805 980 – This service is pager operated and a Counsellor will return calls as soon as possible.