22 April 2017

It's Time to Speak Out About Mental Health

SP Services fully supports all the work and research on mental health awareness that Mind are doing through their Blue Light programme.

Recently HRH Prince Harry has been very open and honest about his own mental health challenges, coping with the death 20 years ago of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales. You can check out his full article here online in The Telegraph.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry have also been spearheading the Heads Together campaign to end stigma around mental health. We've seen many members of the Emergency Services attending their events over the past few months, hopefully the extra publicity that the Royal Family bring to any good cause can only be a good thing for all involved. 

The 'This Is My Hand' campaign was started in the Emergency services to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing, supporting the Mind Blue Light Programme and the Samaritans

SP's Managing Director Steve Bray said “When I visit customers and colleagues on ambulance stations and at A&E’s around the UK, mental health, PTSD and illness from work related pressures are now topics that are regularly openly discussed over a cup of tea. Nearly every ambulance person now seems to know at least one colleague from their Trust who has either taken their own life or attempted suicide; this is such a worrying and depressing statistic for me and should be of concern to us all."

MIND say "Our independent research shows that members of the emergency services are even more at risk of experiencing a mental health problem than the general population, but are less likely to seek support."

MIND is delivering the Blue Light Programme to provide mental health support for emergency services staff and volunteers from ambulance, fire, police and search and rescue services across England and Wales.

In year's gone by crews would sit around after a bad job and have time to go back to station for a cuppa in their SP mug, a debrief with crew mates, and even a bit of black humour. Now we all know that crews are usually under huge pressure to respond to the next 999 call and that it can be difficult if not impossible to book yourself off for an hour without being made to justify yourself. Some employers have better support mechanisms than others, but the research from MIND would appear to suggest that a lot more still needs to be done. In the meantime it's down to all of us to keep an eye on our colleagues and offer support when its required.

Finally, let's look after each other, and if you see a colleague in need, offer them your hand.

You can contact the Blue Light Infoline on 03003035999 or text 84999 

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