This week is CFOA is supporting Blue Light Infoline Awareness Week. The campaign aims to promote the infoline service which is available to those that volunteer and work for the emergency service. The service is part of the Blue Light Programme which was launched by Mind in March 2015. The infoline is able to offer advice and signpost people to help if they need it.
In the first year evaluation of the Blue Light Programme it was apparent that although there was a high awareness of mental health problems among blue light personnel, less than a third were aware of the Blue Light Infoline and this was the single greatest reason for people not having accessed it.
CFOA are actively encouraging fire services to continue to promote the infoline in their workforce. Something as simple as displaying the artwork available on staff notice boards, providing information in internal newsletters or making sure new starters have the information can be useful. Mind found that 79% or respondents to the Blue Light evaluation said they would ‘never’ seek help from HR if they experienced a mental health problem.
Mind’s research shows that nearly two thirds (63 per cent) of emergency service staff and volunteers had contemplated leaving their job or voluntary role because of stress or poor mental health. Those numbers can be changed and just one way of making that change can be accessing this confidential support.
If you work in the emergency services (paid or voluntary) visit Mind’s website and make sure your organisation is supporting the six easy steps to raise awareness.