John's story

Some of my supervisor colleagues were uneasy when it came to emotional wellbeing and unclear as to the impact and effect it can have on police officers.

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Simon, search and rescue

The most important thing I’ve learnt is about taking care of me but also recognising when my team members might be struggling.

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Lisa's story

I write so other people feel encouraged to talk about mental health. Poor mental health is so isolating and can make you feel so alone.

When I published my blog I had 200-300 emails from officers around the country saying they felt the same. A lot of officers, especially those coming to the end of their service– don’t talk about their feelings. They were the ones emailing me behind the scenes, saying they felt the same.

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Ross, Search & Rescue

There is lots of help out there. The hardest part is asking for it or accepting it. That help can make all the difference.

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Helen, police

The more I have spoken about it in the last couple of years, the more support I have gained from my colleagues, supervisors and management. I am now able to go to certain people at work and tell them I’m having a really bad day. Just saying that can make me feel a lot better.

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Nick, Search & Rescue

I've talked to various people over the years about my mental health issues- both in the rescue world and outside of it- and there are so many people who have experienced similar things. So it's important to know that you're not alone in feeling this way.
If you are having mental health problems, don't be afraid to tell somebody.
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David, paramedic

Sometimes just having someone to talk to who has been through that, and who can appreciate the signs and symptoms and early warning signs of depression and mental illness, can be a huge help.

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Vanessa*, Search & Rescue

If you're a friend or family member of someone who experiences a mental health problem, I know it must be hard to watch someone you love going through hell. But for the person experiencing the mental health problem, just knowing that they have someone who is there to support them and be there with a kind and caring word when they need it is so important.

*Individual's name has been changed to protect their privacy.

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Izzy, search and rescue

Many colleagues in the team are also friends, so it felt natural to talk to them about it. No one judges me and they all trust me to do a good job. 

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Richard, fire

Since I have spoken out, other colleagues including senior officers have told me how they went through that 20 years ago or whatever it was. It’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one, that people do get through it and progress.

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Ed, police

I've never had one negative reaction. People react with empathy, and often disclose that either they, a family member or a friend has suffered from mental illness. How stupid is it to think that people who work in the blue light services, who deal with all the bad things in society, are immune from mental illness? We are not, and there is no shame in that.

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Andrew, fire

In the fire service, we are exposed to some tragic, horrible incidents. But you can keep on top of those situations. The ability to talk about a problem with someone makes a world of difference. It’s amazing. Just talking about it can almost release some of it out of your body. And if you keep bottling it up it will come out in the end. 

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Zoe, police

As a force we are very good at helping people with mental health issues – but we’re not as good when it comes to looking after each other. We see it as weak.

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