In today’s Autumn Statement, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond announced additional support for emergency services staff and volunteers. Mind today confirms that a further £1.5m is going to be made available to support the continued delivery of Mind’s Blue Light Programme.
The funding, administered by the Cabinet Office, will allow the mental health charity to continue its vital work providing mental health support to 999 staff and volunteers across police, fire, ambulance and search and rescue until March 2018.
Responding to the announcement, Chief Executive of Mind, Paul Farmer, said, “We’re grateful for this much-needed additional funding, which will allow us to continue delivering mental health support to our hard-working emergency services staff and volunteers. Blue Light workers do an extremely challenging job day in, day out, frequently encountering difficult and traumatic situations. But they’re not immune to mental health problems – in fact, our own research has found over 9 in 10 emergency services workers have experienced stress, low mood or poor mental health while working for the emergency services, and over one in four admitted that this had caused them to contemplate suicide. That’s why it’s so important that comprehensive, ongoing mental health support is available.
“Since March 2015, we have worked in partnership with emergency services across England who have been committed to making sure the mental health of their staff and volunteers is a priority. Mind’s Blue Light programme has helped thousands of staff and volunteers across our police, search and rescue, fire and ambulance services in England to actively challenge mental health stigma, learn more about mental health and make positive changes in their approach to wellbeing.
“Working alongside our local Minds, the extra funding will allow us to reach more people than ever. From 2017, for the first time we’ll be able deliver much-needed support to emergency services staff and volunteers in Wales, as well as extending our existing support to include 999 call-handlers and new recruits. This investment will also allow us to begin to identify and tackle specific mental health challenges facing accident and emergency (A&E) workers within England and Wales including doctors, consultants, nurses and security staff.”
Find out more about Mind’s Blue light Programme