About Let Me Know

In 2016 Station Officer Adrian ‘Newtz’ Newton won funding for a Mental Health Awareness Fundraiser as part of the MFB’s 125th anniversary celebrations. Newtz was deeply concerned about the number of firefighters choosing to take their own lives and decided to do something about it. Sadly, Newtz passed away in a motorcycle accident while vacationing in Bali just as his dream of increasing mental health awareness amongst his firefighting brothers and sisters was really gaining momentum.

Prior to his passing Newtz had loosely formed the “Let Me Know” Committee and, although deeply affected by the loss of a great mate, the committee banded together and forged ahead with the fundraiser. The beneficiary of the fundraiser was a mental health monitoring app conceptualised by SO Jamie Baker, and made by firefighters, for firefighters. It was at this point the good folk at beyondblue and Phoenix Australia got on board by providing a wealth of evidence based research to pass on to LMK users.

The event was an unprecedented success. Almost $63,000 was raised and all attendees were encouraged to talk openly regarding mental health and to not be afraid to “Let Me Know” if they or anyone they knew wasn’t travelling too well. The funds will enable the LMK Committee to develop and host the LMK Mental Health app for many years to come.

The concept of the app was developed, which Jamie had been working on since January 2015, after a recruit mate took his own life. Three members of the Committee were on the same recruit course and Newtz was one of his instructors. Everyone asked, “Were we doing enough? And, was it easy enough for people to connect with support networks?” The Committee hopes that LMK will allow all users to develop a better understanding of their own mental health and provide an added level of support and connection especially for those that struggle to talk about their concerns openly.

The app is free for all current and retired MFB Firefighters, CFA Staff and Volunteers, as well as both organisation’s Corporate and Technical employees, and their immediate families. Our goal is to make the app available to other first responders in Victoria and Australia in the near future.

This is the legacy of MFB Station Officer Adrian ‘Newtz’ Newton.