Mental health training for the emergency services

Emergency services staff and volunteers operate in some of the most challenging workplace environments but often receive limited mental health support and face high levels of stigma.  

In response to this, we’ve developed a range of tailored training sessions for blue light personnel. All our courses are evidence-based and developed to be specific to each emergency service.

On this page you can find out more about the following courses:  

•    Managing Mental Health in the Emergency Services
•    999 Call Handler Training
•    New Recruit Training
•    Peer Support Training.

Managing Mental Health in the Emergency Services (MMHES)

This course is for anyone in the emergency services who has a line manager, team leader or pastoral role. It’s tailored to the unique environments that the emergency services operate in and we can provide a version for ambulance, fire, police or search and rescue services.

Key features:

  • half-day course
  • delivered face-to-face to a group of 8 to 16 participants
  • a balance of trainer-led presentation with opportunities for participant discussion and interaction
  • an experienced Mind trainer can deliver this course at a suitable venue of your choice.

What you’ll learn:

  • Awareness of mental health at work and how work can affect emergency services staff and volunteers.
  • Awareness of the signs of mental ill health, and how to broach the issue.
  • How to create a mentally healthy workplace.
  • How to proactively manage employees’ mental wellbeing.
  • How to initiate a conversation about mental health and handle disclosure.

Our evaluation found that, as a result of the training course:

  • participants’ self-reported understanding of mental health problems increased by 95 per cent
  • managers’ ability to recognise signs and symptoms of common mental illnesses increased by 54 per cent
  • 90 per cent felt confident that they could support a colleague experiencing a mental health problem at work.

“We have just finished the first training course. I just wanted to say how well it went down with our staff. We consider it to be a huge success and there is considerable appetite to run another session.”  – Past participant 

Download the full learning objectives for the course and the course programme outline.

Make an enquiry

999 Call Handler Training

Call handlers are increasingly expected to take on higher volumes of calls, against a backdrop of reduced staffing levels and strictly enforced targets. This can contribute to poor mental health and wellbeing, leading to high levels of staff sickness and poor retention.

Based on our research with call handlers and expert stakeholders from across the services, we developed a pilot course tailored specifically for call handlers, covering:

  • mental health awareness
  • resilience
  • supporting callers with mental health problems.

Call handlers who took our course told us that they knew more about different mental health problems after the training, and their knowledge of personal resilience and looking after their own wellbeing had increased.    

“You cannot overestimate just how positive this whole programme has been for our staff. If I could do it every six months, I know I would have the same response. It’s just been amazing, amazing for staff.” – Manager, police service

We are currently working on making this training available to all emergency services staff. If you’re interested in booking this course for your team, please email [email protected]

New recruit training

Our research shows that new recruits can find life in the emergency services tougher than expected. They don’t always feel prepared to deal with the difficult things they see and hear for the first time. From shift patterns to dealing with distressing situations – there is a lot to get used to.

That’s why we made a pilot mental health training course that’s just for new recruits, and tested how well it works. New recruits that took it said they were more aware of how to take care of their mental health. They’d also be more likely to ask for help if they needed it. We are currently working on making this training available to all emergency services staff.

If you’re interested in booking this course for your team, please email [email protected].

“I first experienced mental health problems within my first year in the service. I’d attended a number of particularly horrendous fatal incidents, which ended up having quite an effect on me...” – Firefighter, fire service

Peer Support Training

Our research shows that emergency services staff and volunteers are likely to seek mental health support from a colleague.

Our peer support training has been developed with this in mind, to help 999 teams better understand what peer support is, how it can help, and what they can do to support a colleague.

People who took our course told us they had more confidence in approaching a colleague who might be distressed or needed support.

According to participant feedback:

  • 94 per cent felt that their understanding of peer support and its key principles and values had improved.
  • 92.5 per cent felt that their understanding of the role and value of recovery and self-management had improved.
  • 88.6 per cent felt their listening skills and understanding of techniques used to support others had improved.

“I thought this was a great introduction and it's left me feeling even more passionate about offering a listening ear and a broad shoulder to workplace colleagues who want and are open to peer support.” Participant, police service

We are currently working on making this training available to all emergency services staff. If you’re interested in booking this course for your team, please email [email protected]  

Mental Health A-Z

Information and advice on a huge range of mental health topics

> Read our A-Z


Helping you to better understand and support people with mental health problems

> Find out more

Special offers

Check out our promotional offers on print and digital booklets, for a limited time only

> Visit our shop today