A workplace mental health champion is an employee or volunteer who takes action in the workplace to raise awareness of mental health problems. They challenge the way people think and act about mental health.
Any current employee or volunteer working in the police, fire, ambulance or search and rescue services could be a mental health champion, whether or not you have personal experience of mental health problems.
Champions raise awareness of mental health and help break down stigma in the workplace. How you do this is completely up to you, and we encourage champions to get creative! Remember: every activity, no matter how big or small, contributes to the central goal of challenging mental health stigma.
During our Blue Light Programme, nearly 3000 emergency service personnel across England and Wales signed up to become Blue Light Champions, changing the way mental health is seen within emergency services.
We've developed lots of information and resources to support individuals and organisations wanting to know more about mental health champions.
Please note: Unfortunately we are no longer able to accept applications for Blue Light Champions at Mind. You can use our resources to set up your own Champion networks within your services or to support your individial activities in advocating for better mental health.
Whether you're an individual wanting to become a champion in your workplace, or an emergency service organisation interested in starting a champions programme, you'll find resources here to help you get started.
8 out of 10 emergency service staff and volunteers we surveyed thought colleagues would be more comfortable talking about physical health than mental health. Often, being judged and isolated can be harder than the mental health problem itself.
That's why we developed our 'Speaking Up, Speaking Out' workshop, to support champions to talk about their own mental health.
The workshop is designed to be delivered to champions, and led by either a fellow champion or facilitator. The aim of the workshop is to help participants to:
Download the materials
"It was good to mix with other 999s and share views, practices and policies."
Our research shows that emergency services staff and volunteers really value peer support in managing their mental health. We've developed these resources to help you set up or build on existing peer support networks within your organisation.
We've developed different materials to help you promote better mental health where you work. You could display posters around your organisation and give a top-tips card to every member in your team.
Our service-specific information booklets can help you learn more about managing mental health in the emergency services, or supporting a colleague to seek help. Topics include mental wellbeing, stress and anxiety, seeking help for a mental health problem and supporting a colleague with a mental health problem.
Our webinar films are available to watch at any time and include guidance, tips and practical suggestions for looking after your mental wellbeing, as well as that of your colleagues. Topics include mental health awareness, looking after your mental health and managing mental health at work.
Here are some other ways you can help support mental health in your service:
"The top ranking officer in our local area wrote to me saying… that I had made a huge difference, that people were getting more support, and that there was more awareness and less stigma."
"People started turning up, and that's when I got a bit nervous. But to have 18 enthusiastic people show up from across the force… gave me a lot of encouragement… It made my day knowing that so many people wanted to do this." Image credit: Gareth Noyes
"Being a Champion means I have greater knowledge of my own mental health and I feel it has made a positive difference making people aware of what to look out for, not only in themselves but also in others."