Supporting the mental wellbeing of someone in the fire and rescue service can have an impact on you, too. Not only can anyone’s work-related stress affect their personal lives, but you might hear distressing details about their work that can cause you stress or anxiety. So it's important not to forget to look after your own wellbeing. For example:
Take a break when you need it
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by supporting someone or it’s taking up a lot of time or energy, taking some time for yourself can help you feel refreshed.
Talk to someone you trust about how you’re feeling
You may want to be careful about how much information you share about the person you’re supporting, but talking about your own feelings to a friend can help you feel supported too.
You can call the Mind Blue Light Infoline for confidential, independent and practical advice about how to support your own mental wellbeing, as well as information about other organisations that can help you. For example, organisations like The Fire Fighters Charity offer support services for eligible family members of fire and rescue service personnel.
Be realistic about what you can do
Your support is really valuable, but it’s up to your partner or family member to seek support for themselves. Remember that small, simple things can help, and that just being there for them is probably helping lots.
For more ideas about how to keep yourself well, see our information on how to manage your mental wellbeing.
This information was published in January 2016. We will revise it in 2019.