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.
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“These workers are quite well paid as well – what sort of mental health problems are the people who are poorly paid or reliant on the benefit system encountering?”
An Exclusive in The Sun relates how a cop lay injured for two hours waiting for an ambulance in London – so colleagues called a LIFEBOAT.
The officer was in agony from a squashed ankle after tackling a drunk.
Fellow policemen tending to him at landlocked King’s Cross station got so fed up waiting for paramedics they frantically got in touch with the coastguard, who alerted the Thames lifeboat station at Tower Bridge.
The RNLI last night confirmed the “unusual request” – and revealed it sent a medic.
A spokesman said: “Tower lifeboat station received a request from HM Coastguard.
“They had been contacted by British Transport Police, asking for help. We had an extra person in doing training there. It didn’t have any impact on our service and he was taken to the scene by police. There was no boat involved.”
The astonishing SOS came after police were called at 8.18pm to arrest a violent drunk.
The RNLI medic is believed to have reached the injured cop some time after 9.30pm. An NHS motorcycle paramedic turned up at 9.58pm. But it was not until 10.32pm that an ambulance finally arrived to take the officer to hospital.
London Ambulance Service said: “The officer is still in hospital. Colleagues on the ground were concerned and as a result they called the RNLI who they knew could help with medical assistance.