Emergency Services

9 Out of 10 Workers in the Emergency Service Sector Suffered From Stress

A new survey by the Mind organisation has highlighted the impact of the demands of emergency services on those involved in the sector.

A new survey by the Mind organisation has highlighted the impact of the demands of emergency services on those involved in the sector.

An overwhelming nine out of ten (87%) of blue-light workers have admitted to suffering from stress, poor mental health and low mood because of their job and the gruelling nature of it. Further to this, over 50% of workers have also admitted to more severe mental health issues due to their role.

When you compare this to general employment rates of mental health statistics, the gulf is staggering. The minority of the general working population (26%) have suffered through a mental health disorder, according to the CIPD. Similarly, three out of five of the general working population took time off because of stress but comparatively, only 43% those working in the blue-light sector did the same.

3500 people were surveyed in the United Kingdom ahead of Mind launching their £4m programme dedicated to supporting emergency service personnel with mental health problems. Starting this April, the Blue Light programme will raise awareness, provide information and tackle the stigma of mental health for those in emergency services.

“Not only are many of our blue light personnel struggling with their mental health, but they’re less likely to seek support or have time off sick than the general workforce,” said Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind.

“The programme we’ll be delivering over the next year aims to ensure that the estimated quarter of a million people working and volunteering within police, ambulance, fire and search and rescue divisions are able to talk openly about their mental health and access the support they need to stay well, recover and continue doing the vital and challenging roles they do serving the community.”

The NHS Employers organisation has been receptive of the programme and its chief executive had this to say: “Society asks front-line emergency staff to respond to some of the most extreme events in our communities. This can take a toll on their health and having the right support within the workplace makes all the difference.

“Staff health and wellbeing programmes are expanding within the NHS and employers have an important role. Whether it is managers empathising during a personal crisis or innovations to support recovery, the way an organisation plans and responds can be crucial to a person’s recovery.”

To find out how you can help, please visit the Mind website. You can also check out our Stress Management courses.