None of our emergency service personnel should have to take their work home with them, but with unprecedented pressures on our fire services throughout the pandemic, the mental health burden on many members of our dedicated and hard-working community means that many are doing just that.
With one in five members of the fire service rating their mental health as poor or very poor, and 65% stating that it has got worse since the start of the pandemic*, it is little surprise that we have been receiving more requests for support from people with increasingly complex mental health needs.
Indeed, with fire and rescue services championing mental wellbeing and incredible pressure on our NHS leading to lengthy waiting lists, at a time where there is still so much uncertainty over the pandemic, this perfect storm of circumstance has meant that we are today facing surging demand for our mental health and wellbeing services.
However, we will never leave anyone in need alone. Which is why we are asking for your help today with a winter appeal.
We want to further develop our teams, diversify our services, invest in new programmes and resources and reach every corner of the fire services community in order to ensure that we can meet the needs of every individual who asks for our help, as well as building resilience across our community to ensure that people are equipped with the tools they need to deal with whatever life throws at them.
But to do this, we need your donations this winter.
We have launched a winter appeal to highlight the huge challenges we’re facing and we’re asking all our beneficiaries, friends and supporters to donate today to directly support their fellow colleagues and friends within the fire service.
Chief Executive Dr Jill Tolfrey says: “We have seen our fire and rescue services push themselves like never before over the last two years to support their communities when they needed it most. But now it’s our turn to support them.
“Facing difficult and emotionally challenging situations every day, in roles far beyond their usual day-to-day work, has had a direct impact on many of our beneficiaries’ mental health and wellbeing. We will ensure we’re there for all of them, whenever they may need us, and your donations today can help us do just that.
“Together we can – and must – help them, so they can continue to help others.”
No one should have to carry the burden of poor mental health by themselves, so with your help, today, we’ll lighten the load for those in need across the fire services community.
*Mind: Blue Light Post Coronavirus Research 2021 – Fire Service Report