Guiding Principles for Emergency Response Volunteer Wellbeing
It isn't just your paid staff who might need support with their mental wellbeing, but those donating their time and effort too. UKSAR have created a guide which explores how the Commitment standards can be better applied to volunteers.
The UK’s search and rescue services rely on volunteers to help save lives and keep people safe on land, in water, or in the air. It’s important to remember that it isn’t just your paid staff who might need support with their mental wellbeing, but those donating their time and effort too.
While the Mental Health at Work Commitment was originally written with paid employees in mind, UKSAR have created a guide which explores how the standards can be better applied to volunteers.
It introduces five principles:
- Promote an open culture around wellbeing and mental health,
- Increase organisational confidence and capability on these issues,
- Promote volunteer (and family) actions to enhance wellbeing,
- Signpost and bridge to relevant mental health learning, tools and support, and
- Increase transparency and accountability to members through reporting as and when appropriate.
The PDF also includes an example of a wellbeing work plan, which organisations who use volunteers can use as a template when deciding how best to apply these principles to their own circumstances.
While this PDF was designed with search and rescue in mind, it can be applied to any organisation that uses volunteers.