Introducing Blue Light: supporting emergency responders’ mental health
Blue Light Programme Manager, Mind
Our emergency service workers do an incredible job of helping people through some of the worst moments of their lives. Ambulance, fire and police staff are exposed to traumatic, dangerous situations every day, and it’s their job to try save as many lives as possible and keep us all safe. It’s not surprising that this can take a toll on their mental health.
Since last year, the emergency services have found themselves at the centre of the pandemic. This is an unparalleled situation that continues to place increased pressure on the mental health of our emergency responders. Some have developed new mental health problems, whilst those with existing mental health problems may have seen their symptoms worsen.
That’s why we are working closely with our funder, The Royal Foundation, and our charity partners (Police Care UK, The Ambulance Staff Charity and The Fire Fighters Charity) to help bring tailored mental health support and information to the emergency services through Mind’s Blue Light Programme.
To begin with, today you’ll find three new toolkits on this site, aimed at emergency services staff, line managers and mental health champions:
- Blue Light: Mental health in the fire service
- Blue Light: Mental health in the police service
- Blue Light: Mental health in the ambulance service
Added to these, in the coming months there will be new information and support resources produced specifically in response to this unique time. It’s all done in partnership with emergency services staff across the country, and based on detailed research into their needs, experiences and concerns – whether as first responders, operational staff, call handlers, office support or any other role across the ‘blue light’ services.
A key part of this is real life experiences
But a key part of this is showcasing the voices and the real life experiences of people working across the emergency responder community. Today we’re delighted to introduce you to:
- Ben, an ambulance dispatcher reflecting on the different ways colleagues need to support each other in a covid-secure working environment
- Becci, an Assistant Operations Manager in a fire service, talking about how the stress of the job can build up cumulatively over months or years
- Kiwi, a police officer in a Youth Engagement Team thinking about how the pandemic has affected all our priorities
There will be more of these appearing regularly in coming months, and you’ll find the collection of them on our Stories page. If you work in the emergency services yourself, you’ll probably find some themes that resonate there. If you don’t, it’s a chance to get an insight into the real lives, right now, of some of the people working hard to keep us safe.
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to look through these pages, and share them with anyone you know who might appreciate it. Supporting the mental health of the emergency services is vital – because, now more than ever, it matters to us all.