Mind in Cambridgeshire to deliver pioneering support for county’s ‘blue light’ workers

14 May 2015

BlueLight

LOCAL mental health charity Mind in Cambridgeshire is working with local emergency services to deliver a ground-breaking wellbeing programme among ‘blue light’ personnel across the county.

The charity, which provides county-wide mental health and wellbeing-related services, is one of nine local Minds in England selected to provide a tailored resilience course to emergency services staff and volunteers.

The course forms part of Mind’s year-long ‘Blue Light’ Programme, a major initiative working to raise awareness of mental health, tackle stigma and discrimination, build resilience and provide information and support to emergency services staff and volunteers across England.

One in four people experience a mental health problem every year and emergency services personnel are even more likely to be affected. A recent Mind survey of over 3600 emergency services staff and volunteers found that nearly 9 in 10 had experienced stress, low mood and poor mental health at some point while working in the blue light services.

Mind in Cambridgeshire’s Chief Executive Sarah Hughes said:

“Those on the front line have to deal with traumatic events on a daily basis, so it’s no wonder that anxiety, stress and mental health problems are commonplace. That’s why it’s so important that support is available. We feel privileged to be delivering this new resilience initiative and playing a part in making a difference to the lives of emergency service personnel, their colleagues and close family members.”

Delivered in partnership with the University of Oxford, this pilot resilience programme has been designed by Mind in consultation with blue light staff. The six week bespoke course aims to equip staff and volunteers with the tools and skills they need to cope with the unique pressures that come with their roles.

Topics such as stress management, relationship issues, social pressures and managing difficult emotions such as anger will be part of the course. Developing effective coping strategies can help staff and volunteers to continue performing their roles well, and reduce the chance of more serious mental health problems developing.

The first course offered by Mind in Cambridgeshire will take place in Cambridge and begins on 11 June. The course is part time and a self-study option is also available.

Emergency services staff and volunteers in Cambridgeshire can sign up for the course by visiting www.mind.org.uk/BlueLightCourse. To find out more about Mind’s ‘Blue light’ Programme, email bluelight@mind.org.uk.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

Spokespeople are available for interview. Please phone Aly Anderson or Dominika Karpowicz on 01223 311320 or email for more information.

About Mind in Cambridgeshire:
  • Mind in Cambridgeshire is a dynamic, county-wide charity that supports local people in their recovery from mental health challenges; promotes wellbeing and campaigns on mental health-related issues.
  • We are affiliated to Mind, the leading mental health charity in England and Wales.
About Mind:
  • We’re Mind, the mental health charity. We provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. We campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. We won’t give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets both support and respect. www.mind.org.uk
  • Please note that Mind is not an acronym and should be set in title case.
  • Mind has a confidential information and support line, Mind Infoline, available on 0300 123 3393 (lines open 9am–6pm, Monday–Friday).
About the Blue Light Programme:
  • Mind has been awarded LIBOR funding to develop a major new programme of mental health support for emergency services staff and volunteers from police, fire, ambulance and search and rescue services across England.
  • Organisations can register their interest in signing the Blue Light pledge to develop meaningful action plans to support their staff and volunteers, or find out more information about the programme, by emailing bluelight@mind.org.uk or visiting www.mind.org.uk/BlueLight

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