Research from Mind* reveals that emergency services staff and volunteers are over twice as likely to say that their service encouraged them to talk about their mental health, compared to four years ago.
The survey, conducted to coincide with the release of a report marking the end of Mind’s Blue Light Programme, showed that almost two in three emergency services personnel (64 per cent) said they felt encouraged to talk about their own mental health.
This compared very favourably to just under one in three (29 per cent) in 2015.
“In an environment where demand for ambulance services is unrelenting, ambulance staff can sometimes be so focused on looking after others that their own mental health and wellbeing suffers significantly.
Like other blue light services we have seen increases in staff reporting poor mental health, high levels of work stress and greater ill-health. It is of such concern that the wellbeing of our workforce is now one of the top priorities for all ambulance services and there are a number of key strategies in place to address this huge issue – at local and national levels.
The Mind Blue Light Programme – of which AACE has been a committed supporter – has played a vital role in highlighting the impact that poor mental health is having on 999 staff. It has helped enable many ambulance staff to speak to mental health professionals in a safe and supportive environment whilst also offering training and advice.
We expect all of our member organisations to continue to take forward the positive progress made by the excellent Mind Blue Light Programme and we will support this process centrally, as the key representative body for ambulance services.”