Over 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.
Between 2015 and 2019, we set about creating lasting change in this sector. During that time, thousands of staff and volunteers across 999 services actively challenged stigma, learned more about mental health and made positive changes in their approach to wellbeing.
Our Blue Light Programme was underpinned by evidence at every stage – from our initial scoping research to evaluations of all our interventions.
Liz, Vicky, John and Darren share how Mind's blue light support has impacted them and their colleagues, and why support for mental health in the emergency services needs to continue.
The Blue Light Programme was launched with LIBOR funding administered by the UK Government. Following four years of funded activity, the programme came to an end in March 2019. But Mind will always be here for team 999. Much of the support we've offered continues to be available, but the way we work in the sector has changed.
The programme focused on six areas:
As well as delivering and testing these interventions, we also influenced wider practice and policy, working with emergency services and other partners to support their own wellbeing initiatives, tailored to 999 teams. Services can still make use of all our learning, advice and support through our Blue Light Programme Blueprint Pack.
Image credit: West Midlands Police
"In the ambulance service, we like to have this feeling that we're bulletproof, and sometimes you can feel a bit ashamed to admit that there's something wrong with you."
The Blue Light Programme was underpinned by evidence at every stage – from our initial scoping research to evaluations of all our interventions. We've made all our research and evaluation publicly available.