Year two - the 10 actions we asked emergency services to take

  1. Sign the Blue Light Time to Change pledge: if you haven’t signed yet, then make sure you do. It’s the best way to publically show your commitment as an organisation and by developing your pledge action plan, you will have a clear understanding of what action you need to take as an organisation to improve the wellbeing of your staff. If you work in search and rescue (SAR) you can order one of our SAR resource packs here.
  2. Show the support from senior managers: actively work to build trust between frontline staff and senior managers when it comes to talking about mental health. Encourage senior managers to publically show their support for the programme – they could become a workplace Champion, write a blog on their own experience of mental health and wellbeing for the staff intranet, or if they felt comfortable they could speak about their own experiences at an internal event. 
  3. Take action to show your support: if your organisation supports the Blue Light Programme then make sure it takes action to reflect that support. For example, you could commit to providing every new starter in your organisation with one of our printed booklets on looking after your wellbeing.
  4. Communicate the actions you take: if you take action to improve the wellbeing of staff as an organisation, for example making changes to your polices or practices or organising a wellbeing event, then make sure your staff and volunteers know about it through internal communications.
  5. Generate change face to face: talking about mental health face to face can have a big impact. Direct and public support from your Chief or team leader at an event or meeting can go a long way to break down barriers in talking about mental health.
  6. Promote the Blue Light Infoline: staff need to know where they can access information and support if they need it. By making sure you raise awareness of the Infoline and other support available through the Blue Light Programme, such as our information booklets, staff and volunteers will know where to turn when they need support.
  7. Keep mental health on the agenda: we’ve come a really long way together but real change takes time and the need for support is still huge. Make sure you keep mental health on the agenda in your organisation – why not set up an internal working group, commit to promoting a mental health awareness day internally or invest in providing printed information booklets in your break-rooms for all staff to access?
  8. Actively challenge your self-stigma: everyone knows a friend or family member that has experienced a mental health problem. Try to challenge your self-stigma around mental health by considering how you would support a loved one in the same situation – would you be understanding and encourage them to seek information or support?
  9. Give workplace Champions the support they need: individuals who sign up as workplace Champions can make a huge difference to how mental health is approached in organisations. Make sure you’re giving them support in carrying out this role – for example, you could enlist HR and communications staff to support them in organising awareness raising activities or you could make sure they have a quiet and confidential space internally to talk to their peers.
  10. Make our line manager training mandatory: our line manager training enables individuals to better support their direct reports and gives them confidence to talk about mental health. By committing to deliver line manager training and make it mandatory, line managers will be given the tools that they need to actively support their staff to stay well and prevent any problems from getting worse.
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