BAPCO Mental Health Hub

We all continue to deal with the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. 

It’s difficult to talk about how ‘we’ are all doing this when where you live or work in the UK now affects what you may do, where and with whom.  Whilst we may have hoped the message would become clearer over time, that seems a remote possibility at the moment.  All we know for sure is that we will be dealing with this for some time to come.

How we deal with such matters is an immensely personal experience.  In a sector which is historically notorious for not sharing and ‘just getting on with things’, it’s great to see the growing acknowledgement and acceptance of Mental Health as an issue. 

BAPCO was pleased and proud to launch this resource area in Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May 2020).  I encourage you to help us and your colleagues to grow and develop this area.  Think about the combined experiences of the whole BAPCO community and the good we could do by sharing just some of that and the resources now available.

These resources are made available to you as part of our work to raise awareness of the options available.  We cannot endorse a particular resource or vouch for their credentials.  If in doubt, please seek professional help from your local health provider.

Contents

BAPCO Resources

Useful Links

BAPCO Resources

White Paper Series: Solitude, Suffering & Stress

Public safety communications professionals are routinely exposed to trauma through their day-to-day duties which acutely and cumulatively impacts the mental health and well-being of these professionals. Often, their work causes them to suffer mental health injuries which can lead to a multitude of disorders, such as anxiety, depression, vicarious traumatisation and compassion fatigue, burnout, substance abuse, PTSD, and fatally, suicide.

The industry can no longer turn a blind eye to these impacts. Our profession is experiencing a mental health crisis of global proportions and as part of our commitment to supporting members’ health and well-being, we have published the first in a series of white papers intended to highlight the global pandemic of mental health injuries in public safety communications. We need the industry, civic leaders, and governments to define and implement solutions to this crisis but before we can do so, we need to fully understand the causes.

The first in a series of four white papers explains the circumstances which combine to overwhelm colleagues’ mental well-being and hinders their ability to acknowledge their need for help or to reach out when they they do. Published through BAPCO’s Mental Health Hub, the objective is to raise awareness of this salient issue and to work with our sector partners to agree ways in which we can help to alleviate the suffering of our members, colleagues and friends.

Our next white paper (The Hidden Costs) will be published in October 2020.

Download the White Papers:

1. Causes of a Silent Pandemic

2. The Warning Signs


Podcasts

A silent pandemic: mental health injuries in public safety communications

Public safety communications professionals are routinely exposed to trauma through their day-to-day duties. Acutely and cumulatively, this trauma impacts the mental health and well-being of these professionals. Often, their work causes them to suffer mental health injuries, also known as operational stress injuries, which can lead to a multitude of disorders, such as anxiety, depression, vicarious traumatization and compassion fatigue, burnout, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), suicidal ideation, and fatally, suicide. In the first of a series of episodes focused on mental health and wellbeing, we explore the impacts of and solutions to the mental health crisis affecting our profession.

Mental health injuries in public safety communications: a silent pandemic

The impacts of PTSD (and other mental health injuries) amongst frontline emergency responders are well documented and recognised as a critical pressure point in maintaining the resilience and effectiveness of our emergency services. Consequently, specialist support (such as counselling, CBT or EMDR) is made readily available for frontline responders and is recognised as imperative for ensuring the health and wellbeing of staff and the continued provision of services to our communities.

This is not the case however for public safety communications professionals, i.e. those people who work in 911, 112 and 999 emergency control rooms. Frontline call-handlers and dispatchers are equally and routinely exposed to trauma, albeit from differing perspectives than frontline responders and yet little exists to support their mental health and wellbeing. In this pod, we seek to better understand the issue and what can be done to support these critical professionals.


Supporting Mental Health During the Pandemic

pdf

Supporting Mental Health During the Pandemic

16th Apr 2020

COVID-19 has plunged us all into uncertainty and the constant news about the pandemic can feel relentless. With the prospect of several more weeks of disruption, unrelenting pressures and/or isolation, feelings of uncertainty, helplessness and loneliness will take a toll on colleagues' mental health. It is therefore imperative that we maintain support for our teams during these challenging times. There are proven methods of intervention that can readily be adopted for low-cost or no-cost, and we've pulled together this briefing note to help you recognise and respond to your teams' mental health needs.


Read more

Back to top

Heads Together

Heads Together wants to help people feel much more comfortable with their everyday mental wellbeing and have the practical tools to support their friends and family.


Mental Health at Work

Our Frontline: support for emergency services

Our Frontline offers round-the-clock one-to-one support, along with a collection of resources, tips and ideas chosen to support your mental health as you do your work to protect us all and keep the country going. For ambulance staff in England, call 0300 131 7000 from 7am to 11pm – or, for all other emergency services staff, text BLUELIGHT to 85258 for a text conversation or call 116 123 for a phone conversation at any time.


Mental Health, Housing and Financial Guide for Veterans

One in five veterans are believed to suffer from mental health difficulties, most commonly depression, anxiety or alcohol dependency. 

We were contacted by Lily Jones, a grandaughter of an injured veteran, to share her very comprehensive guide for veterans who are struggling mentally and financially after they leave the forces.  The guide provides assistance in the following areas:

  • Housing
  • Jobs and Training for Veterans
  • Mental Health Support
  • Scholarships for Disabled Veterans
  • Help for Older Veterans
  • Help for Injured Veterans
  • Help for Carers of Injured Veterans
  • Help for Blind Veterans
  • Financial Advice
  • Information on Armed Forces Pensions
  • Assistance for RAF and Navy Veterans

Mind

Mind - Blue light support for team 999

Our emergency services save lives every day. Managing their mental health matters. Our research shows blue light teams will always need support with their mental health, because of the pressures they face in their roles. Access our targeted support for staff, volunteers and employers across ambulance, fire, police, and search and rescue teams here.


Mental Health Foundation

Prevention is at the heart of our work in mental health.


Oscar Kilo

Oscar Kilo is the home of the National Police Wellbeing Service and brings assessment, learning and conversation about emergency services wellbeing into one place.


The Royal Foundation - Mental Health

We must change the conversation on mental health. At The Royal Foundation we will continue to tackle stigma and encourage more people to talk openly about mental health. We want to ensure that everyone’s understanding of the need to keep mentally fit is on a par with what we know about the need to eat healthily and to exercise. We are also supporting new services so people can find the right help they need, at the right time, and in the right place for them.


Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England

Through our training and campaigning, we equip people with the skills they need to support their own and others’ wellbeing.

We offer a range of evidence-based face to face and digital learning, from awareness raising to skill development. Our courses empower people to notice signs of mental ill health, and encourage them to break down barriers, listen in a non-judgemental way, and signpost to support for recovery. 


Rehab 4 Addiction

Coronavirus: Guidance for Better Mental Health


UCL Online MBA programme

How to tackle mental Health in the workplace as a manager and colleague.

Back to top