Fortem Australia and Soldier On
John Bale has helped to change the face of mental healthcare for veterans and first responders through the two organisations he co-founded – Soldier On and Fortem Australia – which bridge key service gaps in the Defence and first responder or national security communities.
Both Fortem and Soldier On deliver mental health literacy, awareness, prevention and treatment as well as career support and retention initiatives. Both are the leading non-governmental support agencies for these high-risk, yet deeply valued service communities.
These organisations are unique in their focus on the inclusion of the family members of serving personnel, acknowledging both their role in sustaining the viability of a high-stress workforce and the potential impacts of that role on the broader family’s wellbeing.
Through the work of Fortem Australia, John also co-created ‘Thank A First Responder Day’, an initiative to recognise the effort and value of the work that all first responders do for the community and Australia at large, every single day.
John is a graduate of the Australian Company Directors and a Finalist in the Australian Mental Health Awards.