Local experts want emergency service workers to be better equipped to take on the mental health challenges of their roles.

A new online mindfulness-based resilience program is being developed to boost psychological resilience in high-risk workers.

A research team from the University of New South Wales, the Black Dog Institute and Fire and Rescue NSW found the online resilience training- the Resilience@Work (RAW) Mindfulness Program- significantly increased levels of psychological resilience, and successfully boosted mindfulness, optimism and the use of healthy coping strategies.

Their study is accessible here.

RAW Mind Coach, an enhanced version of the e-learning program used in the study, will now be rolled out within Fire and Rescue NSW as part of its proactive mental health program.

The program has also been rolled out to Reuters journalists worldwide and is currently being rolled out to over 5000 employees at NSW Ambulance. 

With mental illness costing the Australian economy $12 billion per year in workplace sickness absence and long-term work incapacity, and around 1 in 5 workers each year experiencing a mental health condition, most organisations are still yet to implement evidence-based training to bolster worker resilience.

The experts say the use of e-learning can overcome many of the barriers organisations face and make it far simpler to equip workers with the skills they need.