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About the Blue Light Programme

We know that emergency responders have faced additional challenges to their mental health as a result of the pandemic. Together with the emergency services community we will make sure that emergency responders have access to high quality mental health resources and training.

Our Blue Light Programme will help deal with the mental health crisis in emergency responders by providing information and support throughout the coronavirus pandemic and beyond. It will run for one year until February 2022 and will build on our existing Blue Light work.

If you need help to manage your mental health now, you can access round‐the‐clock support at Mental Health at Work. You can also find further advice and information here.

What will the programme achieve?

Funded by the Royal Foundation, we will work with the emergency services community, including The Ambulance Staff Charity, Police Care UK and The Fire Fighters Charity to ensure emergency responders have access to high quality mental health resources and training for emergency responders to challenge stigma and improve their wellbeing.

Our Blue Light Programme will also work with emergency responders 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 will:

  • launch a range of information resources that provide advice and support to emergency responders during the pandemic
  • develop toolkits for each emergency service, to help them raise awareness and challenge stigma around mental health in the emergency services
  • share the stories of emergency responders who have been affected by 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 better support staff mental health
  • help emergency responders to feel comfortable and confident to speak out and seek support.

Mind will always be committed to ensuring emergency responders get support and respect when it comes to their mental health. Beyond the funding of this phase of the Blue Light programme, we will continue to support emergency services, the professional and sector bodies that support them, emergency services charities and policy makers, through our wider 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. The experiences shared will offer key recommendations for employers when planning mental health and wellbeing support and 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 have played a leading role in supporting the emergency services.

Blue Light Programme 2015 2019

During these four years, we worked with partners to deliver an ambitious and comprehensive programme of activity aimed at reducing stigma, promoting wellbeing and 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 actively challenged stigma, learned more about mental health and made positive changes in their approach to supporting the wellbeing of themselves and others.

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 at work to raise awareness and challenge the way people think and act on mental health.
  • 400 peer supporters were empowered through training to share their personal lived 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 a range of positive, crucial changes to how mental health is seen within the emergency services.

These included:

  • the proportion of personnel who said they were aware of mental health support available to them rose from 46 per cent in 2015 to 65 per cent
  • there was also a big increase in the number of respondents who said their organisations encouraged them to talk about mental health – from 29 per cent in 2015 to 64 per cent
  • there was also a large rise in the proportion of respondents who said their organisation supported people with mental health problems well – up from 34 per cent to 53 per cent.

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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