In yesterday’s Autumn Statement, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond
announced that Mind’s Blue Light Programme been awarded a further £1.5 million in LIBOR funding.
The funding will allow the mental health charity to continue to deliver vital mental health support for 999 staff and volunteers until March 2018, in partnership with emergency services and local Minds in England.
The funding will also enable this much-needed support to be made available in Wales from 2017. Several new areas of work with 999 call-handlers, accident and emergency workers and emergency service new recruits will also be developed.
In addition to this, research will be carried out into how the Blue Light initiative can potentially impact on the way blue light employees and volunteers interact with members of the public.
Research from Mind found that over 9 in 10 emergency services workers have experienced stress, low mood or poor mental health whilst at work and over one in four admitted that this has caused them to contemplate suicide. A review of the impact of the first year of the Blue Light Programme has shown that it had a ‘markedly positive impact on those it reached’ but there is still a challenge to meet in order to provide support and tackle the stigma attached to mental health in the workplace.
CFOA will continue to support and promote the delivery of this programme and is delighted to see that the support available will be extended to services in Wales.
You can read more about the Blue Light Programme and their future plans here and access a number of resources produced to support emergency service workers:
- Blue Light Infoline –a confidential infoline, just for emergency service staff, volunteers and their families – call 0300 303 5999 or text 84999
- Sign the Blue Light ‘Time to Change’ pledge
- Watch webinars designed for each emergency service which share the experiences and personal stories from staff and volunteers as well as practical ways to recognise mental health problems and how to look after your own mental health
- Download or order information booklets for your service