Support for search and rescue teams

The Blue Light Programme aims to provide mental health support to those emergency staff and volunteers from police, ambulance, fire and search and rescue (SAR) services across England and Wales.

Developed in consultation with individuals from across the services, we have created a range of resources tailored to each service, designed to support the mental health of volunteers, staff, employers and groups.

Why SAR?

In any given year one in four people will experience a mental health problem. But research has revealed that the estimated quarter of a million emergency staff and volunteers are at an even greater risk of developing mental health problems because of the nature of your roles. 

You go to nasty jobs and you try to leave it behind. But you've got your own stresses on top of makes the job extremely hard, and sometimes too hard to do.

For search & rescue volunteers especially, balancing volunteering commitments with work and personal life can have an impact on your mental health. Whilst many in search & rescue report great support from their teams, volunteers may also experience a gap in support for mental health problems if their issues do not relate to, or they do not have support within paid employment.



To help support the mental health of SAR volunteers and your teams we've developed some tailored resources on building resilience, supporting your wellbeing, how you can support your team-mates effectively, help to start conversations about mental health, and advice about how to deal with stress and anxiety.

We all have mental health just as we all have physical health, and to experience a mental health problem is a normal part of being human. But the stigma that still surrounds it means that many of us just don't feel able to talk about it. This needs to change and we'd love you to be part of our aim to end mental health stigma.

Check out what resources we have available to help you promote better mental wellbeing in your team.

Research and evaluation

Mind has carried out a large amount of research into the mental health of emergency service staff and volunteers, the most effective ways to support them and the impact of our work with the emergency services so far. You can find all of that research, along with the evaluation of our work in year one, below.

Access the research and evaluation reports.

23% of SAR personnel think their colleagues would treat them differently, in a negative way, if they disclosed a mental health problem.


Order your free action pack today!

We have 100 packs available, limited to one per SAR team and distributed on a first come first serve basis. Each pack contains mental health information booklets, advice on dealing with stress, the impact of trauma, how to build resilience, how you can incorporate the five ways to wellbeing into your day to day life, and top tips on looking out for your own wellbeing and that of your colleagues.

We also have a host of digital creative to help raise awareness including email banners and filmed pieces.

Plus all the materials available in our packs can be downloaded here, so if you need extras of anything do not worry, you can print as many as you need.

Email [email protected] to order yours. 

Local Mind support

Have you or one of your teammates gone through something traumatic, in or out of work, that’s had a real impact?

Nearly 6 out of 10 emergency service staff and volunteers we surveyed said they used isolation as a way to cope.

Through our local Minds, we want to give more emergency service staff and volunteers the chance to talk or learn new ways to cope with difficult experiences. And it's all available for free.

Find out more

We need more search and rescue Champions

If you become a Blue Light Champion you will raise awareness of mental health in your team and help to change the way we all think and act when it comes to mental health in the emergency services. How you do this is completely up to you, and we encourage you to get creative!

Being a Champion in your search and rescue team doesn't have to take up a lot of time - you can give as much time as you have. Every activity, no matter how big or small, contributes to the central goal of challenging mental health stigma and making it ok to talk.

Find out more

All SAR Resources

Printed Media

  • Information Booklets: containing lots of information, these are A6 sized so perfect for putting in your pocket.

Managing Stress & Anxiety

Supporting A Colleague With A Mental Health Problem

Understanding Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

  •  Top-Tips Cards & Posters: give a top-tips card to every member of your team

Top-Tips Cards

Your Wellbeing Poster

Supporting Your Team Poster

Combo Poster

  • Posters: Display the posters in prominent areas where your colleagues will see them.

Resilience Poster

5 Ways to wellbeing Poster

1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem in any given year.

graphic poster

group photo poster

9 out of 10 people with mental health problems experience stigma and discrimination.

graphic poster

photo poster

Working with a mental health problem

graphic poster

photo poster

  •  Signposting Z-Cards: provide information of support services and useful guidance on how to keep yourself mentally well.

Signposting Z-Card

  •  Postcards: hand these out to colleagues or send them to friends and family to spread the truth about mental health.

1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem in any given year postcard

9 out of 10 people with mental health problems experience stigma and discrimination postcard

Digital Media

Download these email badges and banners to show you are supporting the Blue Light Programme.

When you click on the links below, a new window will open in your browser. Simply right-click on the image and and choose 'save image as' to download it then hyperlink it to our webpage

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Sar Email Banner 728 X 90L

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Sar Email Banner 728 X 90E

Sar Email Banner 728 X 90H

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Sar Email Bannere

Sar Email Banner 728 X 90D

Sar Email Banner 728 X 90G

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Blue Light Stories

Some of your fellow SAR volunteers speak up about their experiences of mental health problems. Share their experiences today.

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.

Read their stories


With films specifically designed for search and rescue volunteers, our webinars share the experience, best practice and personal stories of real volunteers working in your services.

Watch the webinars

Want to find out more?

Check out the Blue Light Programme home page to find out more about the Programme and other things happening across the services.

find out more

Contact Us

Got a question about SAR and the Blue Light Programme? Contact us via [email protected].


There are lots of opportunities for you to get involved in events that promote better mental health.

Find out more about upcoming events


Follow the Blue Light Programme on Twitter now @MindBlueLight and use #MyBlueLight to join in the conversations.

Let us know what you or your team are doing to challenge stigma and promote wellbeing for you and your colleagues.

find out more

Blue Light Infoline

Get confidential support and signposting

> Find out more

Research reports

Use our learning to benefit team 999 mental health

> Download now


Access our films, case studies and more

> Access now