for better mental health

Supporting mental health as an employer

It's important to take care of the mental health of your staff and volunteers. Our research shows that emergency services staff and volunteers are even more likely to be affected but are less likely to seek support.

There are lots of ways you can get involved – we've developed information, training and resources to help you improve mental health amongst 999 teams as an employer.

On this page you'll find information on our:

  • Blue Light Programme Blueprint
  • Time to Change pledge
  • Workplace Wellbeing Index
  • Training
  • Webinars
  • How Kent Police support their staff - a case study.

The Blue Light Programme Blueprint

Our expertise in delivering mental health support for emergency services has shaped the Blue Light Programme Blueprint Pack. This step-by-step guide has all the information employers need to set up and deliver mental health support in your service.

  • Read our introduction to the Blueprint to find out how to use the Blueprint guide.
  • Read the case for support and find out why emergency services need to take care of their staff, and how they can do it.
  • See the Blueprint, our visual step-by-step guide for delivering activities and setting up local networks.
  • The Blueprint toolkit gives you practical steps you can take to embed support or set up local networks.
  • From 2016–2017, the Blue Light Mental Health Networks were established – four pilot networks set up to facilitate local emergency services working together in improving staff and volunteers' mental wellbeing. These networks raised the profile of mental health significantly, and encouraged cross-service working. Read more in the Mental Health Networks evaluation report.


Time to Change pledge

Keep your staff and colleagues well for work - there are lots of ways you can fight stigma and make positive changes to improve mental health in your workplace.

Signing the Time to Change pledge will show your commitment to challenge mental health stigma and promote positive wellbeing within your service. Your pledge commitment is backed by your own action plan, which details the tangible activity you will deliver in your service.

During the Blue Light Programme, over 100 blue light services and associations signed or re-signed the pledge. Read about what other services have done to raise awareness.

  • By pledging you will help your staff and volunteers feel more able to speak openly about mental health and to seek support when they need it.
  • It will help to improve mental health awareness within your service, which will better enable your staff and volunteers to look out for themselves, their team and members of the public.
  • Bigger problems have a better chance of being prevented if staff and volunteers feel able to get support as soon as they need it.

Read more about the pledge

Workplace Wellbeing Index

Every employer depends on having healthy and productive employees. This is especially important in the emergency services, where workers frequently encounter traumatic situations.

Our Workplace Wellbeing Index is a benchmark of best policy and practice. It will help you find out where you are doing well and where you could improve your approach to mental health in the workplace.

Find out more about the Index


"As a manager, I need to be more aware of what my officers are experiencing and what impact it can have on them. I realise that when someone says 'I'm fine', it may not be entirely true and it just needs the right approach." – Manager, search and rescue

Our training courses have been developed to meet the specific needs of emergency services workers and volunteers, tailored to the unique environments they operate in.

Find out more about training


Our webinar films are available to watch at any time and include guidance, tips, some of our research findings and practical suggestions for looking after your mental wellbeing, as well as that of your colleagues or direct reports.

Our webinars cover a wide range of topics.

  • Mental health awareness
  • Looking after your mental health (four different webinars available, tailored to the police, search and rescue, ambulance and fire services)
  • Managing mental health at work (four different webinars available, tailored to the police, search and rescue, ambulance and fire services)

Watch the webinars

Case study - Kent Police

Kent Police were the first emergency service to sign the Time to Change pledge in 2012. Read about how they supported staff by establishing a network.

Read the case study

Other ways to get involved

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