About us - creating lasting change in 999 services

Our fourth year of Blue Light Programme support for ambulance, fire, police and search and rescue services is now underway across England and Wales. 

We’re continuing our work so that there is support and respect for the mental health of everyone within the emergency services.

Following the Grenfell Tower fire and terrorist incidents in Manchester and London, we received more LIBOR funding. This means our support will continue until March 2019.

Find out more about our plans for year four and the impact of our work so far below. 

Together we can create lasting change when it comes to mental health in the emergency services.

Our funding is administered by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Year four - our plans

Emergency service workers do an extremely challenging job day in, day out, frequently encountering traumatic situations.

Staff and volunteers will always need support with their mental health, so they can continue their amazing work.

In year four we will:

  1. influence decision makers on national approaches to mental health support within the emergency services sector, working together with our partners for lasting support to continue
  2. enable emergency services staff and volunteers to manage their own mental health and to access support when they need it. Alongside our existing information, support and training, you’ll be able to access training on peer support through our local Minds
  3. improve access to trauma-focused information and support. We’ll give more 999 staff and volunteers the chance to access face-to-face support, through our local Minds. We’ll upskill our Blue Light Champions, local Minds and Blue Light Infoline advisors on trauma and provide tailored information on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  4. empower mental health leaders at all levels. Regardless of rank or role, we will empower those who are leading the way in changing how we all think and act about mental health in the emergency services. Send us your stories, news and best practice to share with others. Blue Light Champions can chat through their ideas with us over the phone and feed into our working group to help shape our work in year four.

Download our year four plans PDF below.

The Blue Light Programme as it’s currently funded and delivered will come to an end in March 2019. But you’ll still be able to access our information, training, resources and confidential Infoline for the emergency services as usual after that.

Do you have questions about what will happen after March 2019? Please let us know.

Year four plans PDF

Download our free guide for services

We want to create lasting change in this sector. But to do this, we need your help.

We ask every emergency service to download our free Blue Light Programme Blueprint Pack, for step-by-step guidance on how to set up or embed activity around mental health into their service.

Download now

Year three - what did we achieve?

Thank you to everyone that has supported better mental health in our emergency services throughout the third year of the Blue Light Programme.

We know that there is a huge amount of good work happening and we want to recognise that.

You can see some of what we've achieved together in year three here:

  • We took our total number of Blue Light Champions to an amazing 2,309 staff and volunteers, including 156 in Wales, all helping to change how we all think and act about mental health in our emergency services
  • We made a great start in supporting emergency services in Wales. Working closely with four local Minds, we trained 540 line managers and supported 80 Champions with free training on speaking out about their mental health experiences
  • We took our total number of line managers and team leaders trained in how to better support the mental health of their direct reports across England and Wales to 7,519
  • We gave 999 employers the tools to build on the work their already doing with our BluePrint Pack, a free step-by-step guide to delivering local mental health support. The pack, based on our tested approach, has been downloaded 486 times so far
  • Blue Light Champions in England started to run their own in-house workshops on the role of a Blue Light Champion and speaking out about mental health using our free training and guides. These have been downloaded 422 times so far. Police officer Scott blogged on how he found running the workshop here.
  • We carried out research for our work with new recruits, 999 call-handlers and accident and emergency staff in England. We then trained 229 new recruits, 270 call handlers and 97 control room line managers.

Our research

We closely evaluated our work in the first year, from 2015 to 16. The key findings are available to share in this report.

It shows that thousands of staff and volunteers across services have actively challenged mental health stigma. They've learnt more about mental health and have improved their wellbeing with the support of the Blue Light Programme.

But it also showed that there was still a significant amount of work to be done.

You can read all of our research and evaluation reports here.

Being part of the Blue Light Programme has made a huge difference. Before, I felt like one person, that I couldn’t change the world. Now we're all linked by this programme. We are more of a force.

#ourbluelight - our emergency services deserve lasting support

In this short film Becky, Esmail, Lorna and Simon share how the Blue Light Programme has had a positive impact and why they need support to continue long-term.

Help to create lasting change in our emergency services - share our film with your 999 friends using #ourbluelight.

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