About us - creating lasting change in 999 services

Our third year of Blue Light Programme support for ambulance, fire, police and search and rescue staff and volunteers in the emergency services launched in England and Wales in April 2017. 

In June 2017, we received a further £1.5m, administered by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, following the Grenfell Tower fire and terrorist incidents in Manchester and London. This means our support will now continue for a fourth year, until March 2019.

Find out more about our plans for our third and fourth years 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.

Year three and four - our goals and plans

From April 2017 all of our support, information, training and resources are available to emergency service staff and volunteers across both England and Wales to access.

In our third and fourth years we will continue to work in partnership with the emergency services to make the programme truly sustainable from 2019 onwards and to embed lasting change in this sector. Our goals are to:

  1. Build a sustainable legacy
  2. Harness and sustain local relationships
  3. Roll out the Blue Light Programme to Wales
  4. Empower leadership.

In year three we will do this by:

  • training further Blue Light Champions to become peer supporters 
  • supporting emergency services to recruit, train and support their own Blue Light Champions
  • developing a blueprint of the Blue Light Programme to support the development of local Blue Light Mental Health Networks
  • planning how we embed our support, training and information into Mind’s core business from April 2019 onwards; and
  • working together closely with local Minds to develop sustainable local networks and deliver lasting mental health support to 999 services across England and Wales.

In year three we will also:

  • develop several new areas of work with 999 call-handlers, accident and emergency workers and emergency service new recruits; these will be delivered through pilot schemes carried out in certain areas only by our local Minds; and
  • carry out research on how the Blue Light Programme can potentially impact on the way emergency service employees and volunteers interact with members of the public.

In year four we’ll:

  • continue to work together with emergency services and local Minds to address the different causes of poor mental health for emergency service workers
  • provide online resources on PTSD, trauma and coping with traumatic events
  • make independent therapeutic and emotional support available through our local Minds where demand is high
  • give training to Blue Light Champions and Peer Supporters so they can support colleagues better after traumatic events
  • provide additional training to upskill our Blue Light Infoline advisors, with a focus on increasing their knowledge of trauma related mental health problems
  • give free workshops on trauma for search and rescue volunteers.

Our ongoing support for emergency services will ensure they promote good mental health across their workforce. When traumatic events do occur, this will help people to feel well-prepared and know where to go if they need additional support.

Our plans for year three and four

Year two - our impact

Thank you to everyone that has supported better mental health in our emergency services throughout the second year of the Blue Light Programme; we know that there is a huge amount of good work happening and we want to recognise that.

We want to update you on the work we’ve been doing over the past year and where we are with the ten actions Mind committed to take at the start of our second year.

We also called on emergency services to take ten actions themselves in our second year, based on our research findings, to show their commitment to better mental health and help to bring about positive change together. How did your service do with the ten actions?

Our impact in year two

Our evaluation findings

As a pilot programme, we closely evaluated our work over the first year from March 2015 to March 2016. The key findings are available to share in this report.

It showed that thousands of staff and volunteers across services have actively challenged mental health stigma, 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 the full evaluation reports for each area of work here along with the full findings from our initial scoping research.

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.

Why do you support better mental health in team 999?

Mo shares why he supports better mental health in this short film. Five Blue Light Champions Andy, Jules, Mo, Regie and Rob have shared why they support better mental health in the emergency services in these short films.

Help to create lasting change in our emergency services - share our films with your 999 friends using #ourbluelight. Why not share why you support better mental health too?

Watch the five films

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