Blue Light Programme
Emergency responders deal with a lot. Traumatic incidents, heavy workloads and irregular hours are all common experiences. And the pandemic placed even more pressure on people working and volunteering in the emergency services.
Mind’s Blue Light Programme was our programme of mental health support for staff and volunteers in the police, fire, ambulance and search and rescue services.
While the programme came to an end in July 2023, we continue to support the emergency services through our workplace wellbeing services.
The Blue Light Programme ran from March 2015 to April 2019, with funding coming from the Cabinet Office, then the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
In 2019, our end of programme survey showed signs of positive change in responders' mental health. But then, the pandemic placed a huge toll on emergency responders’ mental health.
So, in November 2020, the Blue Light Programme re-launched, funded by The Royal Foundation of The Prince and Princess of Wales' Covid-19 Response Fund.
Mind is here for everyone experiencing a mental health problem, including emergency responders. While the Blue Light Programme ended in July 2023, we continue to support the emergency services through our workplace wellbeing services.
Even though the Blue Light Programme has ended, there are still lots of places you can go for information and support:
- Read Mind's mental health information for emergency responders
- Read Mind's information about types of mental health problems
- Visit the Mental Health At Work website for toolkits for the ambulance, police and fire services
- Visit The Firefighters Charity website
- Go to Police Care UK
- Visit The Ambulance Staff Charity website
- Speak to your line manager to find out if there’s an Employee Assistance Programme or other forms of formal mental health support at your workplace
- Check if there are staff networks or mental health champions in your organisation
As part of the Blue Light Programme, we set up Blue Light Together – a website designed for people working and volunteering in the emergency services, as well as their friends and family.
Now, partners are launching a new website, building on Blue Light Together, so that emergency responders will still have a central hub for information and support for their mental health. Check back here for updates on when the website will launch.
We’re immensely proud of the Blue Light Programme's impact since 2015.
- 93% of emergency services in the UK have signed the Mental Health At Work Commitment, declaring that mental health is, and will remain, a firm priority.
- We've seen more than 50,000 visits to Blue Light Together, our website of tailored mental health information and support for emergency responders.
- We trained almost 10,000 line managers and peer supporters in how to support their colleagues’ and teams’ mental health.
- Thousands of emergency responders became Blue Light Champions, committed to raising awareness and improving support in their workplaces.
"I tend to keep any pressure or stress I’m going through to myself, but since using Blue Light Together I’ve been encouraged to open-up more."
Ambulance Care Driver
We carried out research to find out about the experiences of emergency responders and their mental health. We used the findings to inform our work.
Read our 2021 report, Behind the mask: How the coronavirus pandemic impacted the mental health of emergency responders:
- Full report (English)
- Full report (Welsh)
- Ambulance service report
- Fire service report
- Police service report
Read our 2019 report, Mental health in the emergency services: