Bear in mind that the services listed here offer support both for people who are struggling and for those who are supporting them. They can talk to you about your worries, offer support or advice on how to cope, as well as ideas on how to help someone else.
Seeing your GP
Your GP will provide the best way to access a range of health and mental health options available. They can discuss the best options for you, including.
Medication – which can help to stabilise your mood so that you can focus on other aspects of your life including addressing practical concerns or be able to engage in counselling.
Counselling or mental health services – where you can talk openly, in a safe space, and learn new skills to help you cope with your feelings and thoughts.
Health Service Mental Health crisis services
If your query is urgent, public health care provider’s website can help you find 24/7 support and advice specific to your local area. To find local services, click on your country of residence: England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland.
Suicide crisis and support with 24/7 availability
Call 0300 373 0896 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Immediate and ongoing suicide and mental health crisis care for past and present UK fire services personnel.
Samaritans is there for everyone, whatever they may be going through: Call 116 123 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
Mind offers information and support to anyone living with a mental health problem or supporting someone who is: Call 0300 123 3393 (9am-6pm Monday-Friday, closed on bank holidays)
The Shout Crisis Line is the UK’s first and only free, confidential, 24/7 text messaging support service for anyone who is struggling to cope: Text SHOUT to 85258
Self-help smartphone apps
This app provides techniques and advice on how to avoid self-harm or suicidal thoughts or actions. You can download it by clicking the link.
StayAlive provides quick access to crisis helplines, support and guidance when a person is thinking about suicide. You can download it by clicking the link.
Support from The Fire Fighters Charity
Working in or around the fire and rescue service can bring its own challenges, and we can support you or another beneficiary (someone working or retired from a fire service or their dependant) of the charity that you’re concerned about. As well as the Fire Fighters Charity Crisis Line, for those at a point of crisis and in need of immediate support, there are a number of support services available to you to help you while you support someone else, or after a disclosure.
Our Support Line
Our Support Line is there if you think you or someone you care about could benefit from our support. Call 0800 389 8820 (9am–6pm Monday–Friday).
Our online mental health and wellbeing programmes are available for anyone with mental health concerns.
Our health app finder signposts free apps that give advice on how to look after your mental health and physical wellbeing.
Support for the retired community
Our Living Well Groups help retired members of the FRS socialise and stay in touch. Meetings are held face-to-face and online.
Fire Friends is the name of our telephone befriending service for the retired community.
Seniors Community Health and Wellbeing Programme
This is a community-based lifestyle programme, current available to retired members of the FRS in the South West of England.
NARF supports members to meet, socialise and keep in touch with other retired firefighters. You can apply online, through the link provided.
Support for the LGBTQIA+ community
Offers information and support to people who identify as LGBTQIA+
Offers online support and peer mentoring. Call 01273 234 839. There is also an Online Support Live Chat. The times at which this is available can be found here.
Offers an information, support and referral service for people who identify as LGBT+. Call 0800 0119100 (10am–10pm every day)
Support for children and young people
A UK charity aimed at those under 35. It’s dedicated to the prevention of suicide and the promotion of positive mental health and emotional wellbeing in young people. Call 0800 068 41 41 (9am–midnight 7 days a week, including weekends and bank holidays) Text: 07860 039967
A free, private and confidential service for children and young people to talk about anything they might need to. Call: 0800 1111 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
If you’re under 19, you can text “YM” to get help specifically aimed at younger people. Text: YM to 85258
Support after a death by suicide
Offers support to the community after someone has died by suicide: Call 0300 111 5065 on Mondays and Tuesdays from 9am–5pm.
Offers face-to-face, online and telephone support for people who are grieving after a death. You can find a local support service, get one-to-one support or chat online to a volunteer. Alternatively, you can call them on 0808 808 1677.
Meeting others bereaved by suicide can help some people to feel less isolated in their situation. Facing the Future is a support group for people who’ve lost someone through suicide. Support after a bereavement by suicide.
If you’re a child, or if you would like to support a bereaved child, Winston’s Wish provides support and guidance to bereaved families, including children.
Supporting the Supporters: Looking after yourself
If you’ve had a difficult conversation, situation or are providing support to someone else, this can be a worrying time and your focus might be on them – however don’t forget that it’s also important to look after yourself and practice some self-care.
Here are some simple things you can do to look after yourself.
- Do things you enjoy – it’s important you remember to keep doing the things you enjoy, like listening to music, playing sports or watching TV. This will help you to stay grounded.
- Spend time with friends and family– maintaining social connections can be a good way to keep your mood up.
- Eat and sleep well – make sure you’re eating and sleeping enough, and not eating or sleeping too much. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important to helping you through difficult times.
- Be kind to yourself – Give yourself the time and care you feel you need when going through a difficult time. Try to accept that its okay how you’re feeling right now and remember that they are not permanent.
Seeking support from others
Asking and getting support from others and just talking through things can be a big help. Here are some people you could talk to.
- Someone at home – you could talk to a family member at home about how you’re feeling and what’s going on.
- Someone at work– a colleague or a manager or they might be able to direct you to specific sources of help.
- Support and professional services – you can also ask for help from the services listed on this page, even if it’s just to just talk things through.