ILWS - Charles Sturt University
ILWS - Charles Sturt University

Leading for Better Mental Health Program Evaluation (2021)


Emergency Services Foundation (Victoria), $44,602


Dr Stacey Jenkins, Dr Joanna Esler,  Dr Alain Neher, Dr Ramudu Bhanugopan,  Associate Professor Larissa Bamberry, Dr Abhishek Dwivedi, Dr Mark Frost, Dr Arnela Ceric.

Research theme

Rural and Regional Communities


This project has come out of the research work that the researchers did for one of CSU’s internally funded COVID 19 project’s in 2020: The mental health and stress impacts of COVID19 on frontline human service staff - Police, Ambulance and Family and Community Services, Community Nurses (WNSWLHD). Roberts, R., Dwivedi, A., Jenkins, S., Bamberry, L., Sutton, C., Frost, M., Neher, A., O’Meara, P. (Monash University), Young, R.   (2020) CSU, $30,000.

From the connections formed with one of that project’s stakeholders, Emergency Services Foundation Victoria, project leader Professor Russell Roberts was asked to be a presenter for its new pilot program, “Leading for Better Mental Health”. The pilot program is a training program that Emergency Services Foundation (ESF) is offering to 25 participants which covers each of its respective agency groups. Using funding that ESF has from WorkSafe Victoria, the CSU team will evaluate the new program, which is expected to commence in March 2020, for its effectiveness.

The evaluation will collect data pre, during and post the delivery of the pilot program and will consider reactions, learning, behavioural changes and business result impacts. The program is aimed at team leaders and will be delivered on-line over a six month period  working around the various agencies “peak times”, such as the fire services’ fire danger period.



By having evidence-based research on the program's effectiveness, ESF will be able to determine if there is a return on investment i.e. that the program has had a positive impact on the mental health of staff.


Dr Stacey Jenkins

Wagga Wagga campus


February 2021