Are you a Retired or Current Fire and Rescue NSW Firefighter? Be Part of This Virtual Mental Health Research Study!

Research Centre: Phoenix Australia
Location: This research study will be conducted virtually in New South Wales
Lead Researchers: Professor Meaghan O’Donnell and Dr. Olivia Metcalf
HREC: This study has been reviewed and approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of The University of Melbourne

About the Study

Constantly getting anxious? Experiencing stress or trauma can be overwhelming. Some people can become stressed, down, and irritable. This can significantly affect their work, relationships, and daily activities. Firefighters tend to experience the effects of trauma more as the nature of their work may entail them putting others before themselves. This is why it is so important for firefighters to get support for their mental health and wellbeing. 

Researchers at Phoenix Australia are conducting a virtual research study for current and retired Fire and Rescue NSW personnel. This research study involves testing out a potential smartphone app called “SOLAR FRNSW” to combat stress and trauma. There are different skills and techniques that people can use in daily life that can help manage strong emotions and stress. These skills and techniques can be learned using the SOLAR FRNSW app, with the support of a facilitator who will check in with you on the telephone. 

Are you a current or retired firefighter who worked for Fire and Rescue NSW? Join this study and get the support you need while helping other Australian firefighters in the future!

Information provided will be kept confidential and not be shared with anyone including Fire and Rescue NSW. It will only be used for the purposes of this research study.

Why Participate? 

  • Participants will receive a new smartphone application at no cost. This smartphone application may help improve mood and wellbeing and help participants feel more in control after challenging or distressing events.
  • Participants may opt to get regular support from a facilitator who will check in with them through phone calls.
  • Participants may experience improvements in their mental health and wellbeing. 
  • Participants will be contributing valuable information that may benefit other firefighters and first responders in the future.
  • Participants will be helping to advance mental health intervention research.

Your Rights

  • If you decide to participate in the study and later feel that you no longer wish to be part of it, you can withdraw at any time.
  • Any information that you provide will be kept strictly confidential, except as required by law or if you disclose any risk of harm to yourself or others.

Who Can Participate?

  • People who are at least 18 years old
  • Must be a current or retired firefighter who works or worked for Fire and Rescue NSW
  • Must be currently experiencing depression symptoms or some stress or having trouble managing reactions to challenging events
  • Must have a smartphone with internet and be willing to download the study app

More Study Details 

The study team will explain the research study in its entirety but some study details are:

  • All participants will be asked to download and use a smartphone application for 5 weeks. Participants will also be asked to participate in telephone calls with a facilitator. If the participant would prefer not to speak regularly with a facilitator, they can let the facilitator know and opt out of these calls.
  • The current project will help researchers understand whether there are particular skills or techniques that best help manage strong emotions and stress, which are the most helpful to current or retired Fire and Rescue NSW personnel. This will improve their understanding of the best way to support and improve the wellbeing of current or retired emergency services personnel who have been impacted by trauma and stress.
  • If this potential smartphone app is successful, it could benefit current and retired Australian firefighters in the future by:
    • Helping build their mental fitness 
    • Helping manage stress and reactions to challenging events
    • Helping improve their mood and wellbeing
    • Helping current and retired firefighters feel more in control of their reactions to distressing situations

About the Research Centre:

Phoenix Australia
Phoenix Australia understands trauma, their mission is to help renew lives. Phoenix Australia seeks to be a world-renowned leader in building the capability of individuals, organisations, and the community to understand, prevent and recover from the adverse mental health effects of trauma. They aim to be at the forefront of the world’s best practice in military, veteran, national security, and first responder mental health and wellbeing. 

Please note:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the study will be conducted remotely which means there will be no in-person visits, allowing you to participate in the comfort of your own home.

What’s Next?

  1. Click the link to enter your contact details and take the study questionnaire.
  2. If eligible, a member of the research team will contact you to discuss the study and answer any questions you may have.
Click Here to Check Your Eligibility for This Study

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