A charity is asking for donations to help support firefighters across the UK with their mental health and wellbeing services.
Dr Jill Tolfrey, Chief Executive of The Fire Fighters Charity, 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.”
According to a study conducted by Mind’s Blue Light Programme, one in every five members of the fire service rates their mental health as bad or extremely poor, with 65% saying it has gotten worse since the pandemic began.
In the West Midlands, 28 referrals from the Fire and Rescue Service were made for mental health support in 2021, including all personnel, not only operational firefighters.
Dr Jill Tolfrey said: “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 donations from our supporters this winter can help us do just that”.
It follows enormous strains on fire and rescue personnel and their families throughout the pandemic, which, when combined with record demand on the NHS, has resulted in prolonged waiting lists.
The Fire Fighters Charity is wants to hire new people and get new programmes and resources.
For more information, you can go to www.firefighterscharity.org.uk/winterappeal