Sometimes it can be difficult to know when we need help… it can be our friends, colleagues and family around us, in fact, who are the first to notice the signs.
For Kev Fyfe, it was his colleagues. And he says reaching out to us during a challenging time with his mental health was the best decision he could have made.
“Through friends and colleagues I was made aware of the fact that stress and probably loneliness at times are factors that can and do have a detrimental effect on everyone,” says Kev, who’s a wholetime firefighter with Hampshire and Isle of Wight FRS.
“Through them, I had become aware that my mood and therefore my professionalism were being affected.
“Finally, after having a conversation with a good colleague and friend – and more honesty having a good look at myself – I decided that pushing back against the system and offloading the blame was just my way of not facing the problem/truth that I needed help… help which was there in abundance and within touching distance through The Fire Fighters Charity’s app, My Fire Fighters Charity.
“I was off work for six months with stress and mental health issues at the time. I felt isolated, lonely, the whole thing. I’m not very good at figuring out my own mind, so I knew I needed to talk to someone – that’s where the Charity came in.”
Kev, having registered previously for My Fire Fighters Charity, explored some of the resources available through the app, as well as some of the online courses. You can find out more about those here.
Having found those beneficial, he then got in touch with us to see if there was further support he could be offered.
“I took time and spoke with a Charity specialist who did not judge me in anyway and said that I may benefit greatly from the Reset Programme,” adds Kev. “That word ‘reset’ sounded like a great weight off my shoulders.
“I found speaking with the professionals and others at the centre the most helpful for me.”
Kev has since dedicated his time to organising fundraising events in aid of us, as a thank you for the support he received and also as a way of spreading the word about the services available to his colleagues across the UK.
“A number of years ago I was involved with fundraising where I personally raised over £5,000 which allowed me to go to China to walk various parts of the wall for about 9/10 days,” he adds.
“I’ve also been involved with a multitude of charity collections via Car Washes and carol singing, as well as painting a picture lately for the Charity as a thank you for the times I’ve been supported. I also have a large painting charity event in the pipeline later this year which could see a decent donation for the charity.”
Please note, our next online Hope Programme for all beneficiaries is from 15 January to 26 February 2024. To sign up, click here.
And remember – if you’re feeling suicidal, you can call our Crisis Line 24 hours a day on 0300 373 0896.