The Fire Fighters Charity is once again proud to support Mental Health Awareness Week. Here, Chief Executive Dr Jill Tolfrey and Chair, Andrew Lynch, explain why mental health lies at the heart of the Charity’s plans for the next three years.
Committed to increasing the amount of mental health support it can offer its beneficiaries, The Fire Fighters Charity last month launched its Strategic Plan for 2017-20, outlining its plans to boost its psychological support services and utilise new technologies to provide people with earlier access to effective support.
Last February, the Charity also signed Mind, the mental health charity’s Blue Light Time To Change Associations pledge, joining a growing number of emergency service employers, associations and support organisations showing their commitment to ending mental health stigma and discrimination in the workplace.
Speaking about the Charity’s continued commitment to addressing the fact that 85% of fire and rescue service staff and volunteers have experienced poor mental health, Chief Executive Dr Jill Tolfrey said: “Early intervention is so important in regards to mental health at work. Over the coming years we will be working to explore new ways in which we can support the fire community, not only at our centres but also in the community and in people’s homes. We want to be able to help people early, ensuring we can help reduce the time they are away from work and equipping them with the tools they need to better understand and support their own emotional wellbeing.”
Chair of The Fire Fighters Charity, Andrew Lynch, added: “Working in traumatic situations inevitably has an impact on an individual’s mental health, but as these injuries are not visible they often go undiagnosed and untreated. Personnel across our fire and rescue services undertake just such work, from frontline firefighters who attend incidents to control room operators who answer 999 calls from the public. So, as a Charity that exists to support all of them in their times of need, it is only right that we shine a light on these invisible injuries and do all we can to support the individuals affected, as well as their families. The Board of Trustees is therefore fully behind the Charity’s plans to increase its mental health support over the next three years.”