Families of volunteers

Safety drives decisions at VICSES and our volunteers are well versed and committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for themselves, their fellow volunteers, and their community.

On this page:

Health and WellbeingWear Orange Wednesday

Serving in VICSES provides a unique sense of satisfaction and camaraderie, it gives a sense of community and purpose. At times, however, our members may face challenging events and experience high levels of stress, due to the demands of the job and events occurring in their everyday life.

Pressure, and all types of life disasters happen to all of us and it is normal to feel under the weather, and to seek support. At VICSES we look after the wellbeing of our members and their families, so in turn they can do what they do best, look after our community.

All members have access to a broad range of physical and mental health and wellbeing programs. The programs available include health checks, vaccinations, healthy eating initiatives, mental health support and education, fitness programs, workers' compensation, supportive return to work arrangements and peer support.


Families Guide

Families play a vital role in supporting emergency service workers to be mentally fit for the important work they do in serving our community. 

Emergency Services Foundation Families Guide is intended to help families of emergency service workers – especially families of volunteers.  ESF listened to their stories and has tried to address their needs and concerns in a practical way.

View the Families Guide for more information.

Critical EventsRoad crash rescue training

People react differently to the unique demands of the VICSES service as well as life’s challenges. It's important that VICSES members and their families manage their mental  physical health. While, after experiencing critical events, most people will bounce back most of the time, at some point your loved one may need extra help. Families play a critical role in supporting our members and often, it’s the family who are the first to notice that something is not quite right.

There are several warning signs that could suggest your loved one is having difficulty, keep an eye out for changes to:

  • Interactions with their family, friends, workmates or Unit.

  • Sleep

  • Eating and drinking

  • Physical appearance

  • Regular routines

If you observe changes to the usual behaviour, and are concerned about your loved one’s wellbeing, here are some things that you can do to support them:

  • Spend quality time together

  • Encourage connecting with friends and family

  • Sleeping and eating well

  • Exercising and relaxation

  • Encourage to seek support through VICSES or local GP

RUOK Family and Friends short course

What are the signs that your loved one might need some extra support?
RUOK have created a course that will help you start the conversation with your loved one and teach you how to respond when they are not ok.

RUOK Family and friends training

VICSES support services

There are a number of resources available to support wellbeing of members, ex-members and immediate family of our members.

Service Details Contact
Peer support VICSES Peer Support provides confidential support to VICSES volunteers and their immediate families, assisting those who experience stress reactions as a result of their involvement in operations or assist with personal problems.

Call 1800 899 927 at any time.

Please request VICSES Peer Support and leave a message with your name and contact details. 

Mental health and wellbeing team The VICSES mental health and wellbeing team has two registered Psychologists on staff to support all members.  Email wellbeing@ses.vic.gov.au or call 0419 354 309 (calls only, no texts) to arrange a confidential discussion.
Employee assistance program (EAP) The VICSES Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides short-term counselling and support for all VICSES members and immediate families. The EAP is easily accessible, voluntary, and can provide support on a range of  personal and work-related issues  Call 1300 OUR EAP (1300 687 327) or email eap@convergeintl.com.au to arrange a confidential consultation. 

When you contact any of these services, make sure you identify yourself as a VICSES member, ex-member, or immediate family.

External mental health support services

Wellbeing support numbers