Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service today (February 4) signed the Blue Light Time To Change Associations pledge, which is an initiative led by mental health charity Mind to remove stigma and encourage openness about mental health in the emergency services.
Chief Fire Officer Chris Strickland and Sir Peter Brown, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority Chairman, signed the pledge at Service headquarters and in doing so, promised CFRS will promote a better understanding of mental health problems while offering support and wellbeing advice to its members, staff and volunteers.
CFO Chris Strickland said: “We have developed an action plan in our organisation to communicate the anti-stigma message, deliver wellbeing awareness workshops and improve the support we give to our staff about mental health.
“Some of our staff took part in a Blue Light six-week pilot with Mind last year, which they found to be of real benefit, and we’re already engaging in more sessions to give our staff the tools and knowledge to eliminate the stigma and help those around them.”
Good mental health should be a priority in any workplace, but it is especially important that people exposed to traumatic or life-threatening situations – such as those working within the police, ambulance, fire and search and rescue services – receive appropriate and timely support.
“We recognise the vital role organisations and associations that support the emergency services can play in promoting mental health and challenging stigma. By signing the Blue Light Associations pledge Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service is helping to fight stigma and promote positive mental health for their staff, volunteers, and the emergency services they support.”
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