Thousands of frontline medics, police, and firefighters are struggling with mental health problems but are too scared to ask for help, a survey reveals.
Shocking figures released by the mental health charity Mind shows that nearly 90 per cent of emergency services personnel polled admitted to stress, low mood and poor mental health. But those in the frontline were most at risk of developing problems and less likely to speak out. It’s claimed they don’t believe employers view mental health issues as a valid reason for sick leave.
The online survey of over £,500 staff also showed that more than half had experienced severe mental health problems but just 43 per cent of those had taken time off.
And latest figures released by ambulance trusts to TV’s 5 News showed that the number of sick days taken for stress-related illnesses by paramedics has soared by 40 per cent in a single year – from 29,449 in 2013 to 41,297 days last year.
Now Mind – which is set to deliver a Blue Light programme supporting 999 personnel with mental health issues – is urging emergency services to sign up to the Time to Change pledge. The campaign, championed by the Sunday Mirror, aims to help soaring numbers of victims.
Paul Farmer, of Mind, said: “Not only are many of our blue light personnel struggling with their mental health, but they’re less likely to seek support or have time off sick than the general workforce.