Page 17 - Hot_News_Nov_2015
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“The worst part of it was pushing my family away. I’ve got two small kids and I pushed them and my partner at the time away, which resulted in the relationship ending. That didn’t help things and probably set me back further.
“But now it’s getting better, I’m seeing a lot more of my kids. Things are improving.
“I’ve been quite open about all of it with my bosses and colleagues. I’d rather people knew why I was off rather than making assumptions.
“They have been really supportive. We are lucky as a service to have a big network of support, from counsellors to what they call staff supporters – people you can just talk to at any time. They were all really helpful, and they never once pushed me to come back.
“Since I have spoken out, other colleagues including senior officers have told me how they went through that 20 years ago or whatever it was. It’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one; that people do get through it and progress.
• We’reallhuman:mentalhealthproblemsaffect anyone.
• Don’tbottleitup:Talktosomeoneyoutrust–orcall the Blue Light Infoline: 0300 303 5999 or text 84999.
• Valueyourself:recognisewhenthingsgowellandthe times you’ve made a difference.
• Connectwithothers:justtwominutesisenoughfora chat or a text.
• Findoutwhocanhelp:whatwellbeingsupportis available near you.
“But although there’s a big welfare network in place at work, there’s nothing specifically for mental health and I’d like to get that in place. I want to get other people talking about it.
“The Blue Light Programme has been an excellent campaign and helped me a lot. The information and support they have provided for me, my organisation and managers have been indispensable.
“I am back at work now. I still have bad days, but they are manageable. My job is massive to me and I love it, and for them to give that back to me made me feel so appreciated. And now, through this, I could potentially help someone else – and that’s the most important thing.
“There are around a quarter of a million emergency service staff and volunteers working in police, fire, ambulance and search and rescue services in England who could benefit from Mind’s Blue Light Programme.”
Firefighter Richard McGhee (Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue).
Macmillan Bake Off
A coffee morning, baking competition and cake sale was staged by our Service staff to help raise funds for charity.
The Occupational Health Team organised the event to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
As part of the fundraising a Bake Off competition was also held, with numerous competition entries of various delightful cakes and pies.
The Bake Off judges who were lucky enough to taste all nine delicious entries included Nick Mernock, Director of People and Organisational Development, Area Manager John McNeill and Chef Terry Evans, who is based at Headquarters.
The winner of the 2015 MF&RS Bake was Jean Crimmins, of Strategy and Performance, for her lemon meringue cake.
Paul Blanchard-Flett, Occupational Health Manager at our Service, said: “People could make donations to Macmillan Cancer Support, with the opportunity to also gift aid their contribution to this good cause.
“There were superb and delicious entries for ‘Bake Off’ style competition we held this year.
“Thank you to everyone for their support and donations. It was a great event. We raised a fantastic £285.20 from the event.”
Some of the cakes baked in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. Photo by Karl Mansfield.
More information about Macmillan Cancer Support can be found at:
National Stress Awareness Day
It is National Stress Awareness Day on November 4. People are urged not to let stress overcome them. For advice, they can contact the Mind Bluelight team of the Services Employee Assistance Programme for wellbeing support.

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