We know that retiring from the fire service can be difficult, however long ago you left.

Long-buried feelings may have raised their heads without the camaraderie of your colleagues, or you may feel lonely or isolated, like you no longer belong anywhere. Perhaps you’ve lost a loved one and are struggling to adjust to the feelings of bereavement you have without them.

Or maybe you’re approaching retirement and feel anxious about the transition into civilian life after a career spend surrounded by your team.

Whatever it is, if something is affecting your mental health in retirement, we’re here to help.

We can offer you a number of one-to-one counselling sessions with our experienced psychological professionals, either online or by telephone, whichever you’d prefer. This talking therapy is tailored to meet your individual needs and our counsellors will create a confidential space for you to be able to speak freely and without judgement about whatever issues are on your mind

Our counsellors will encourage you to talk about whatever is making your life more complicated. This exploration gives you an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of your difficulties. Together, you’ll plot a course of action that allows you to navigate your way through issues, either by overcoming them or developing strategies that will help you to cope with them.

If you still feel you would benefit from time with us in person, we may also invite you for a residential stay at one of our centres. Or we may recommend articles from our vast health and wellbeing library, signpost you to a wellbeing app that could help you or refer you to specialist local groups that could help you.

And if loneliness or isolation is having a negative impact on your mental health, why not consider joining one of our Living Well Groups where we reconnect retired members of the fire family. If there isn’t a local one to you, fear not, as we have an online, nation-wide group that is open to any retired fire and rescue personnel, regardless of your location.

If something is affecting your mental health in retirement, you don’t need to feel alone. Get in touch with us on 0800 389 8820 or make an enquiry via our website.

Tony’s story

Former Deputy Chief Fire Officer Tony Proctor became anxious and stressed after he retired. He approached the Charity for help and received psychological support, which now allows him to enjoy his retirement. Read his story here.