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About the Blue Light Programme

Emergency responders have to 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.

Our Blue Light Programme is here to support emergency responders. We do this through the Blue Light Together website and our monthly newsletter.

Blue Light Together is your mental health support hub. It offers:

  • Specialised information and advice
  • Real life stories and tips from colleagues working in the field
  • Guides on how employers can support their teams with their wellbeing

You can also access urgent help if you need it.

Our funding

The Blue Light Programme is funded by The Royal Foundation. The Foundation have a long history of raising awareness of mental health supporting the emergency services.

Blue Light Programme 2020 - 2022

In this time, together with the emergency services community, we:

  • Launched Blue Light Together, a new website for mental health information and support for emergency responders
  • Created information resources for emergency responders on coping with their experiences in the pandemic and beyond
  • Worked with local Minds to deliver a pilot of 64 training sessions to line managers and peer supporters
  • Encouraged senior leaders to better support staff mental health, by signing and enacting the Mental Health at Work Commitment
  • Helped emergency responders to feel comfortable and confident to speak out and seek support through our anti-stigma campaign and by sharing personal stories

Image credit: West Midlands Police

Blue Light Programme 2015 - 2019

During these 4 years, we worked with partners to deliver an ambitious programme of activities aimed at:

  • Reducing stigma
  • Promoting wellbeing
  • Improving mental health support for those working or volunteering in ambulance, fire, police, and search and rescue services

Thousands of staff and volunteers across the emergency services got involved in different ways. They:

  • Actively challenged stigma
  • Learned more about mental health
  • Got better at supporting their own, and their colleagues', wellbeing

Our reach

  • 100+ emergency services and support organisations signed the Blue Light Time to Change pledge, committing to practical action to tackle mental health stigma.
  • 3,000 Blue Light Champions were registered. These are staff and volunteers who take positive action to raise awareness and challenge the way people think and act on mental health at work.
  • 400 peer supporters were empowered through training to share their personal experiences to help colleagues and signpost to support.
  • 9,000 line managers, team leaders and pastoral staff were trained in managing mental health in the emergency services.
  • 9,000+ calls were made to our Blue Light Infoline, which provided emergency services staff, volunteers and their families with personalised information and support.

627,000+ views of our webpages

360,000+ printed booklets distributed

46,000+ downloads of our resources

Evaluation and next steps

Our end-of-programme survey in 2019 showed lots of positive changes to how mental health is seen in emergency services.

These included:

  • The number of respondents who said they were aware of mental health support available to them increased from 46% to 65%
  • The number of respondents who said their organisations encouraged them to talk about mental health increased from 29% to 64%
  • The number of respondents who said their organisation supported people with mental health problems well increased from 34% to 53%.

You can find out more about our survey results, learnings and key recommendations from the Blue Light Programme in our our report. We also have an English summary and Welsh summary.

We'll be sharing information about how staff, volunteers and employers in the emergency services can get involved in the programme via our monthly newsletter. If you'd like to subscribe, raise a query or share feedback about the programme, please contact us at [email protected]

Other ways to get involved

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