West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service has signed up to a campaign against mental health stigma.
The Blue Light Pledge, organised by the charity Mind, demonstrates a commitment to challenge mental health stigma and promote the positive wellbeing of firefighters and employees.
Gavin Watts, chief fire officer, said: “I am really pleased to make this pledge to show that we, as a fire service, can make a commitment to our staff that we will support them and their mental health whenever it may be required.
“Working for the emergency services is one of the best jobs in the world but it can also mean working in hugely difficult circumstances where staff are exposed to traumatic situations.
“Signing the pledge reinforces our ongoing commitment to the wellbeing of our staff.”
The pledge was signed by the fire service’s senior leadership team ahead of World Mental Day, which was marked yesterday.
Debbie Kennard, West Sussex County Council cabinet member for safer, stronger communities, said: “I am so pleased that we have been able to support this scheme.
“Our firefighters work in extremely challenging conditions so it’s really important we work together to provide the best possible support services for them.”
Mind carried out research into the culture of mental health within emergency services and their results showed that 87.5 per cent of personnel had experienced stress and poor mental health while working for blue light services.
The pledge commitment by leadership teams is backed by their own action plans, which details tangible activities.
More information about Mind’s Blue Light pledge can be found at www.mind.org.uk