The State Government has today (12 June) launched a provisional payments pilot which will cover the cost of mental health treatment for CFA staff and volunteers.
CFA has welcomed the announcement of the 12-month pilot, which is an Australian first for emergency services workers who suffer from work-related mental health injuries.
Under the scheme CFA staff and volunteers will be able to access funding for reasonable medical treatment and services while a compensation scheme claim is being assessed, removing any delay in them accessing support services.
GP visits, medication and visits to psychologists and psychiatrists are among the costs to be covered under the scheme.
The provisional payments pilot will commence on 1 July for CFA people and will cover mental-related medical expenses for up to 13 weeks once a claim is submitted.
In the event of a claim being denied, the program still provides access to paid treatment for a period of up to 13 weeks.
Executive Manager Health, Safety, Environment and Wellbeing Sylvia Hudson said the pilot provided a fantastic opportunity for all CFA people to access early treatment for mental health issues.
“We know that early treatment is vital in terms of outcomes for people experiencing mental health conditions, particularly in reducing the impact long term,” Sylvia said.
“This pilot will make a significant difference to anyone in the emergency services experiencing work-related mental health issues, ensuring that they can get help straight away when they need it rather than waiting for their claim to be approved.”