Actions and Detail Panel
Mind Blue Light - Mental Health in the UK Fire Service
Wed 22 February 2017, 14:00 – 16:00 GMT
The IFE Lancashire Group, UCLAN Fire & Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service are pleased to announce the next free CPD event during which three speakers will share their experiences with mental health.
Registration from 13:30hrs & Event starts at 14:00hrs
Mind Blue Light
Provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. We campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.
Because of Mind, millions more people have access to advice and support thanks to our information and services nationally and locally, in England and Wales. We’re building on change, but we know there is much more to do.
Independent research shows that members of the emergency services are even more at risk of experiencing a mental health problem than the general population, but are less likely to seek support.
Mind is delivering the Blue Light Programme to provide mental health support for emergency services staff and volunteers from police, search and rescue, fire and ambulance services across England.
Thousands of staff and volunteers across these services have actively challenged mental health stigma, learnt more about mental health and made positive changes in their approach to wellbeing with the support of the Blue Light Programme so far.
Mind received more Libor funding in November 2016, to continue providing this vital support until March 2018. This funding will also enable us to roll out the programme in Wales. The findings of our year-one evaluation show that the emergency services need independent and specialist support with their mental health to continue long-term. So we are committed to take 10 actions in 2016 to 17 to help make that a reality, and we call on emergency service organisations to take 10 actions too. Together we can create lasting change in the emergency services.
About The speakers
Dan joined the ambulance service 13 years ago, starting in the EOC and following on to becoming an EMT in 2010 in the Fylde. Rich started at UCLan in 2007 as student paramedic, and qualified in 2010. Both are now crew mates at Blackpool ambulance station.
After experiencing PTSD after a traumatic incident, Dan became a 'Mind - Blue Light Champion' and went on to work collaboratively with the MInd - Blue Light Programme to get it setup within the North West Ambulance Service. Mind also published 'Dan's Story', with the literature providing an insight into problems facing emergency service personnel and specifically his story.
To raise awareness of mental health problems within the emergency services, and promote the Blue Light Programme, Dan and Rich co-founded the Blue Light Walk in 2016. With support from Mark Woodward, the walk shone a light on a unreported sickness within the blue light community, and attempted to break down the stigma surrounding mental health, whilst raising money for the Blue Light Programme.
The Blue Light Walk and 'Dan's story' surrounding PTSD, received royal approval in 2016, with Prince Harry, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge supporting the project on World Mental Health Day. The Blue Light Walk has transformed into the Our Blue Light Network, which has the intention of bringing all emergency services together, for a healthier and better future surrounding wellbeing."
Mark Woodward has been a proud member of Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service for 26 years. He is currently an operational Watch Manager on White watch at Preston Fire Station.
Over the last 8 years or so Mark has had periods when his mental health was not very good due to a combination of home and work events. He faced stigma, ignorance and bullying. At his lowest points he thought about dying by suicide.
After getting help through therapy, CBT and medication, Mark is now well and a key member of ourbluelight.com alongside Dan and Rich.
As a Blue Light Champion and Peer supporter, Mark now, through shared experiences leads on Mental Health and Wellbeing in LFRS. He has helped to change the culture to end stigma and staying silent when colleagues need help.
Mark is looking forward to building on the success of the blue light walk in 2016 with Dan and Rich in 2017