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Blue Light Programme - support for emergency services

Our independent research shows that the estimated quarter of a million people who work and volunteer in 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 was awarded LIBOR funding to deliver the Blue Light Programme, to provide mental health support for emergency services staff and volunteers from police, fire, ambulance and search and rescue services across England up until 31 March 2016.

Thousands of staff and volunteers across our police, search and rescue, fire and ambulance services actively challenged mental health stigma, learnt more about mental health and made positive changes in their approach to wellbeing with the support of the Blue Light Programme in just one year. Read our report on our reach and work so far - Our Blue Light - One Year On.

We know that many members of the emergency services still need independent and specialist support with their mental health. The headline findings of our February 2016 survey on mental health in the emergency services show that one in four (27%) of those we surveyed had considered ending their lives at some point due to stress and poor mental health whilst working for the emergency services. Mind is committed to continuing as much support as it can to make sure emergency service teams in England can continue to access vital mental health services and information in 2016/17. 

We are also actively working together with the emergency services and their unions to try and get more funding so that everyone working in our emergency services in both England and Wales can get the support that they need and deserve.

Find out more about our plans

Blue Light mental health networks

In 2016/17 we will pilot four Blue Light Mental Health Networks with the help of four of our local Minds. These will bring together different elements of the support we’ve offered over the past year and our learning from this to enable emergency services in the network locations to collaborate and work together on applying our approach.

Each network will support a programme of activity designed to collectively improve access to mental health information and support for all employees across police, search and rescue, fire and ambulance services in that area.

Find out more

Blue Light Infoline

Need advice on your mental health or wellbeing? Call, email or text our Blue Light Infoline; just for emergency service staff, volunteers and their families. We can provide independent and confidential support, advice and signposting.

  • 0300 303 5999 (local rates)
  • bluelightinfo@mind.org.uk
  • Text: 84999
Find out more

Blue Light Information booklets

Our booklets are designed to support staff and volunteers from the emergency services with their mental health. You can read them here online as well as ordering printed booklets to be delivered to your organisation.

Find out more

Blue Light webinar films

Learn to recognise what mental health problems are as well as practical ways you can look after your mental health. If you’re a line manager, find out how to better manage the mental health of your staff and volunteers too.

With films designed for each of the services, the webinars share the experience, best practice and personal stories of real staff and volunteers working in your service.

Watch the webinars

Sign the Blue Light Time to Change pledge

Keep your staff and colleagues well for work - there are lots of ways you can fight stigma and make positive changes to improve mental health in your workplace. 

If you would still like to sign the Blue Light Time to Change pledge then please email us to register your interest.

 

  • commit to the Blue Light Time to Change pledge
  • develop a pledge action plan
  • register for our peer network events
Find out more

Blue Light Champions

A Blue Light Champion is an employee or volunteer in the emergency services, who takes action in the workplace to raise awareness of mental health problems and challenge mental health stigma. Blue Light Champions can be members of the ambulance, fire, search and rescue or police services working in England.

If you’re a Blue Light Champion or Peer Supporter already you can access resources and support here.

Image: West Midlands Police

Support for Champions

Take our resilience course

Our resilience courses are tailor-made for staff and volunteers in the emergency services: Police, Fire, Ambulance and Search and Rescue. They’re for you if you’re well and not experiencing a mental health problem.

During the course your staff and volunteers will learn ways to stay well while coping with the stresses and strains of everyday life, including the unique pressures that come with your role. It’s important to take care of your mental health.

Details of our upcoming courses will be available here soon. You can register your interest by emailing us with your name, contact details and the number of people who are interested in doing the course.

Training for line managers

Our line manager training course focuses on how to manage mental health in the workplace. We are offering the half-day masterclass managing mental health at work to managers working in the emergency services.

71% of emergency services personnel surveyed by Mind feel that their organisation does not encourage them to talk about mental health. Line managers play a vital role in reducing stigma and encouraging staff to talk about their mental health problems.

Details of our upcoming courses will be available here soon. You can register your interest by emailing us with your name, contact details and the number of people who are interested in doing the course.

Find out more about our courses

Support for search and rescue teams

Search and rescue volunteers occupy a unique position within the emergency services. Check out our targeted search and rescue resources and start challenging mental health stigma today.

Find out more

Workplace wellbeing

Mental health problems at work are common. You might not be talking about it, because mental health is still a taboo subject. And many people feel scared and confused about confronting the issue at work. But there are small, simple steps you can take to look after yourself and make your workplace mentally healthier.

Whether you're an employee worried about your own or a colleague's mental health or an HR professional interested in improving mental wellbeing in your organisation - we're here to help.

Find out more

Contact us

Got a question about the Blue Light Programme? Contact us with any general enquiries on bluelight@mind.org.uk.

We're not able to offer support through this email - if you need support, please contact the Infoline.

Events

There are lots of opportunities for you do something in your workplace and get involved in events that promote better mental health. These might be Blue Light specific events or events being run by other organisations.

Find out more about upcoming events

Twitter

Follow the Blue Light Programme on Twitter now @MindBlueLight and use #mybluelight to join in the conversations.

Find out more

Blue Light Infoline

Get confidential support and signposting

> Find out more

Blue Light updates

Register to get the latest Blue Light Programme news

> Register now

Resources

Access films, email banners and more

> Access now