Mental Health Support
FRSA sign up to the Blue Light Pledge
The FRSA are very proud to announce that we have now signed up to the MIND Blue Light Pledge.
As awareness among the general public has increased over recent years, it has become apparent that poor mental health is much more common than was previously thought and is on the rise. While there are more support outlets and areas of signposting than ever before, it is vital that this work continues especially in the Fire Service. In our view the support for these employees is less robust for a number of reasons, one of which is the myth that ‘firefighters’ are supposed to be immune from poor mental health and trained for every eventuality. Wearing a protective uniform supposedly protecting them from all ills!
This is of course not the case, with firefighters vulnerable to traumatic and/or regular exposure to highly stressful situations. This makes them more, not less liable to fall victim to poor mental health, irrespective of their training and experience. The support on offer to individuals within Fire and Rescue Services has been eroded due to cuts in backroom services such as HR/Personnel departments. That is why signing the Blue Light Pledge is so important to us as an organisation, we are witnessing more and more cases that involve poor mental health and it has become evident that the support at service level is, in most occasions, inadequate.
Our plan is to introduce a new national lead on mental health and to identify mental health ‘champions’ strategically located across the UK to ensure that, along with the resources available from MIND that any member need never feel that they are alone, without hope or in a hopeless situation.
Over the coming months we will raise awareness of the support that is on offer to our members and publish contact details of our champions who will be there even if it is just for a chat.
In the meantime if you feel the need, just contact us at HQ, we have a wealth of experience in this area and are here to help.