As some of our readers may know, yesterday (24th November), we published an article following the tragic death of 3 East of England Ambulance staff who took their own lives.
The aim of the article was not to try and establish what had led to these tragic deaths.
Instead, it was to try and get a ‘snapshot’ of how our colleagues are doing, from a mental health perspective.
We received many responses from both current and former EEAST staff who each wanted to share their own personnel experiences with us.
Here at Emergency Services News, we are passionate about the mental health and wellbeing of our former colleagues.
I have been in and around the emergency services my entire life.
But I have never known a time when so many people who are serving on the front line are suffering from a mental health perspective.
Since publishing the article, colleagues from around the country – in all four services – have made contact with us, telling us about their battles with mental health.
Indeed, just in the last hour, I have been in contact with someone who works on the front line of the emergency services who recently tried to take their own life.
I have offered that colleague my mobile number because I want to help them in any way I can.
But I want to do more.
I want to help more emergency services & NHS personnel who are struggling with their mental health.
From my own time in the military and indeed the emergency services, I have also had to battle those horrendous and debilitating thoughts which hound the mind after being exposed to traumatic events, repeatedly, over a prolonged period.
I would like our readers to know, especially those who have contacted my team in the last 24 hours, that we are looking at formulating a plan that will (hopefully) result in a charity being set up that will be tasked with helping the brave men and women who serve on the front line of the emergency services and NHS.
But I also want my former colleagues to know that there are other fantastic charities out there, such as Minds’ #OurBlueLight, who can help.
The Samaritans are also a fantastic team of volunteers who you can speak to in complete confidence.
I want to pledge to the 100-or-so people who have contacted Emergency Services News over the last 24 hours that I will do everything I can to put together a charitable organisation that will hopefully be there for you should you ever need it.
The person with whom I spoke to earlier on today has told me that they have to wait four weeks for counselling.
The workloads currently being experienced by specialist emergency services charities is such that they cannot do anything sooner for this colleague.
This is something that I want to change.
I want my former colleagues – who I had the honour of serving with – to be able to get help when THEY need it, not just when it is available.
We are all only human, and this life can be extremely tough at times. But we must be there for each other.
Take the time to ask your colleagues how they are feeling — even those colleagues who are always keeping up the morale of the troops.
A colleague of mine (Met) who took his own life shortly after retiring from the force was one of those colleagues who would always keep up the morale of our team.
Nobody would have guessed that he was struggling. Because we never had any suspicion of the battle that was going on in his mind.
I am sure that the majority of the general public would join me in wanting to thank you for doing what you do.
Thank you for helping to keep us safe.
Thank you for wearing the uniforms you wear.
I will keep our readers, from all walks of life, updated concerning our efforts as outlined above.
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