A support service for emergency services staff and volunteers is being launched in Wales today (27th April 2017).
Research by Mind found that almost nine in ten emergency workers have experienced stress, low mood or poor mental health while at work, and one in four has contemplated suicide.
Its Blue Light Programme will offer training to staff to help them manage the situations they face, as well as training for managers to offer support to their teams.
As part of the programme Mind Cymru will also establish a network of Blue Light Champions to support and advocate for colleagues, as well as a wider peer support network within the emergency services in Wales.
Sara Moseley, director of the charity, said: “Blue light workers do an extremely challenging job day in, day out, frequently encountering difficult and traumatic situations.
“Not only are many of our blue light personnel struggling with their mental health, but they’re less likely to seek support or have time off sick than the general workforce.
“Working alongside our local Mind network in Wales, the Blue Light programme will allow us to support more than 20,000 people across Wales.”
Despite the greater prevalence of mental health problems among emergency services personnel, Mind’s research indicates that they are less likely to take time off sick as a result.
Fewer than four in ten told Mind they had taken time off work due to poor mental health. The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development has found that this is much lower than the general workforce, with nearly three in five saying they had needed time off for poor mental health.
The Blue Light Programme aims to tackle stigma and discrimination in the workplace, providing information and improving access to mental health support for staff and volunteers.
The programme, funded by the Treasury, has been running for two years in England, and cash has now been made available for the scheme in Wales.
Read the full Police Oracle article here