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About the Blue Light Programme

We know emergency responders have faced more challenges to their mental health because of the pandemic. Together with the emergency services community, we’re making sure that emergency responders have access to the best mental health resources and training.

Our Blue Light Programme will help deal with the mental health crisis in the emergency services. It’ll provide information and support to help you cope during the pandemic and beyond. It’ll run for 16 months until June 2022. And it’ll build on our existing Blue Light work.

If you’re looking for information and support, visit Blue Light Together for:

  • tailored resources
  • real-life stories and tips from colleagues
  • guides for employers. 

You can also access urgent help if you need it.

What will the programme achieve?

The programme’s funded by the Royal Foundation. And we’re working with the emergency services community to run it. Organisations involved include:

  • The Ambulance Staff Charity
  • Police Care UK
  • The Fire Fighters Charity 

Together, we’ll make sure emergency responders get the best mental health resources and training.

We’ll also work with emergency services to challenge media and public attitudes about the work of emergency responders during the pandemic.

Image credit: West Midlands Police

Our core activities 

Together with the emergency services community, we’ll:

  • launch resources that provide information and support to emergency responders during the pandemic
  • share the stories of emergency responders who have been affected by working through the pandemic
  • share best practice case studies with tips and advice for supporting colleagues during the pandemic and beyond
  • work with local Minds to deliver a pilot of 64 training sessions to line managers and Blue Light Champions
  • work with senior leaders so they can do better at supporting staff mental health
  • help emergency responders to feel comfortable and confident to speak out and seek support.

Beyond funding this phase of the Blue Light Programme, we’ll continue to support the emergency services community. This includes:

  • the services themselves
  • professional and sector bodies
  • emergency services charities
  • policymakers

We’ll do this through our broader workplace wellbeing information and services.

Image credit: London Ambulance Service

Our research

We've listened to the experiences of emergency responders and how the pandemic has affected their mental health. We're using these shared experiences to offer key recommendations to employers when planning mental health and wellbeing support. The people who share their stories are helping us to develop new resources to support emergency responders now and into the future.

See our research

Our funding

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

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 registered – 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 report here. 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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