The mental health of Australian firefighters


Australia is experiencing the worst bush fires in it’s history.  It’s a less often covered topic when people are in the midst of a national emergency, but we’re already starting to see the fall-out of some of these month long blazes, and it’s people’s mental health.

CEO Darren Lockie says, “we’re seeing peaks in inquiries related to these fires. People who are volunteer firefighters particularly are reaching out for support. These are people who clearly need help. We want to do something – even if we are in Thailand. My team and I were talking about how to help and, as an Australian owned and managed rehab, we felt we had a responsibility to do something.”

CEO Darren Lockie (right) with members of his team.

A new study shows that firefighters are in one of the highest risk groups for addiction, because of the trauma they regularly see. They are likely to experience PTSD and other mental health issues like anxiety. In some cases turning to substances is way to self medicate.

Recently, Australia’s fires have seen a peak in inquiries.

In response: DARA Rehab is offering a 50% scholarship to any firefighter in Australia

“We are going to be offering this at a loss, but it’s our way of helping people with the mental health support they may need,” says Darren.

“I very much appreciate the work our Australian firefighters are doing to save people’s homes and to save the wildlife. I appreciate these people are giving up their own Christmas time with their families. It might not be now, it could be a month from now, but with all the stress these brave people have faced they might need help.”

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DARA Rehab has a proud reputation of supporting fire fighters and other emergency service people. You can read more about one firefighters experience here.

DARA Rehab has been operating across two locations for 15 years. Based on the island of Koh Chang, Thailand, it’s the place many people choose to go to recover from mental health, burn out and addiction.

YouTube video


Eligibility for discounted placements is based on:

  • You can be a paid or volunteer firefighter.
  • You can have mental health, including PTSD, or substance abuse issues that you need support with.
  • You must commit to a minimum 5 week program; but in some instances we may suggest longer.
  • You must provide proof of serving as a firefighter within the past 3 months.
  • Please note you can attend Lanna Rehab or DARA Rehab; but this offer is subject to our booking capacity as we maintain a high staff to client ratio.
  • We have no published date for this offer expiring but reserve the right to withdraw it at anytime.To ask for more information, simply complete the form below and state you are a firefighter in the notes:



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