New QLD PTSD laws a saving Grace

mental health, mining, news, survey

The Queensland Government has introduced law changes to improve the support and compensation of first responders suffering post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

According to the state government, the changes will apply to both public and private sector workers including mine rescue teams.

Any first responders diagnosed with PTSD will be given immediate treatment and compensation benefits.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said the changes will boost support for workers exposed to traumatic incidents.

“This provides these workers with dignity when they most need it, overcomes barriers to making a claim, and provides a safety net for people who put their health at risk every day to help others,” Grace said.

“This is also a win for the families of first responders whose rate of mental health conditions is 10-times higher than the Australian workforce generally.

“We must do all we can to support those who support Queenslanders each and every day.”

According to Grace, the legislation was introduced last parliament and will make it easier for workers to seek out support services.

“Under the new laws it will be much easier for first responders to come forward and seek treatment and early intervention,” Grace said.

“It will also go a long way to reducing the stigma first responders have about the impact of a claim on their job prospects, or how they are perceived in their workplace.”

Since 2019, a Shinema bus project from Geraldton-based filmmaker Ralf Mulks and Chapman Valley Men’s Shed has travelled across Western Australia to improve the mental health of fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workers and other communities.

The initiative is part of the Australian Government’s national suicide prevention trial from 2016, which was also set up in Central Queensland.

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