Page 16 - Hot_News_Nov_2015
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Mind Blue Light Programme
supporting our emergency services
In the UK, one in four people will experience a mental health problem in any given year. However independent research by the mental health charity Mind shows that the estimated quarter of a million people who work and volunteer in the emergency services are even more at risk of experiencing a mental health problem than the general population, but are less likely to get support.
Contact Infoline
Call: 0300 303 5999 (local rates). Its lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, except for bank holidays.
Email: bluelightinfo@mind.org.uk Text: 84999
By post: Bluelight Infoline, Unit 9, Cefn Coed Parc,
Nantgarw, Cardiff, CF15 7QQ
For more information visit: http://www.mind.org.uk/ news-campaigns/campaigns/bluelight/
CASE STUDY:
“I'm Richard, I'm a fireman – and I've got a story about my mental health that could really help someone you know.
“I joined the fire service in 2001 when I had just turned 18 – I’d always fancied doing it, so one day I took the plunge.
“Three years ago my then partner and I lost a baby –
we had a miscarriage. At the time I didn’t think anything of it. I told myself these things happen, get on with it.
“Then last summer at work I attended a road traffic accident. The casualty trapped in the car was pregnant. As soon as the officer giving the briefing told us that, something just turned.
“I had to step away from the job then and there, because the first thing that came into my head was the baby we had lost. What was bizarre for me was why it had taken so long to react to it.
“I had some time off work, and went back when I thought I was OK. They took one look at me and sent me straight home.
“My bosses knew I wasn’t safe to be there because of the huge fluctuations in my mood. I never knew what triggered it, but I’d go from being fine straight to rock bottom.
“There were days when I didn’t know what I was doing, or who I was. I was in a bubble. I could have been in a street full of people but as far as I was concerned it was just me there. When I got to my lowest there were times I didn’t know what was happening to me. It was tough.
“I planned to end my life, and I had told my partner at the time that’s what I was going to do. She called the doctor, who rang me straight away and referred me to the psychiatric team to be assessed.
Mind has been awarded LIBOR funding to develop the Blue Light Programme. This is to provide mental health support for emergency services staff and volunteers from police, fire and rescue services, ambulance services and search and rescue services across England. The programme is being developed in consultation with individuals from across the emergency services.
The Blue Light Infoline
The Blue Light Infoline offers confidential, independent and practical support, advice and signposting around mental health and wellbeing. The Infoline is just for emergency service staff, volunteers and their families, to help keep you or those you care about well for work.
Open Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm, the Mind Bluelight phone number is charged at local rates. People can also contact the team at any time using the email or text details, for a response from one of the dedicated advisors during the Infoline working hours.
The team provides information on a range of topics including:
• Staying mentally healthy for work.
• Types of mental health problem.
• How and where to get help.
• Medication and alternative treatments • Advocacy.
• Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). • Existing emergency service support.
• Mental health and the law.
The team looks for details of help and support in the individual’s own area or that is relevant to their emergency service. Unfortunately the advisors are unable to offer an emotional listening service or counselling through the Infoline.
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