Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service is backing a nationwide project aimed at getting people talking more openly about mental health.
The ‘Time to Talk Day’ on Thursday, February 2 is being run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness with the aim of getting people to talk to each other about mental health issues.
“Addressing mental health in the same positive way we address physical health is a vital part of sustaining and supporting a healthy workforce. Talking openly about mental health plays a big part in breaking down the stigma that often surrounds it, " said chief fire officer, Rod Hammerton.
“Firefighters and our colleagues in the other emergency services sometimes come face to face with traumatic and distressing situations that can have an impact on their mental health. When that happens to someone they should feel able to talk about it and ask for the help and support they need.
“Conversations can change lives and that’s certainly true when it comes to mental health. It’s a subject we all need to talk about openly and that is what I hope all our employees will do on Time to Talk Day,” he added.
Mind says one in four people will experience a mental health problem in any given year, but many are too afraid to talk about it.
Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said: “Not only are many of our blue light personnel struggling with their mental health, they are also less likely to seek support or have time off sick than the general workforce.
“Good mental health should be a priority in any workplace but it is especially important that people exposed to traumatic or life-threatening situations - such as those working within the police, ambulance, fire and search and rescue services – receive appropriate support.
“By supporting Time to Talk Day Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service is helping to fight stigma and promote a positive approach to mental health.”