Burning questions - Breaking the stigma

Mental health At least 1 in 4 of us have had mental health issues, therefore it is likely that you, some of your friends, colleagues or family members would have experienced some form of it in their lives.

Staff from Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) recently took part in a mental health video opening up about their own experiences, breaking the stigma, what helps to improve their mental health, and the importance of seeking support. We know that opening up about mental health is not always easy, and more needs to be done to understand and break down the stigma.

We all have physical health, and we all have mental health. However more often than not, when a physical injury presents itself we wouldn’t think twice about seeking support - yet when it comes to mental health illness, the symptoms aren’t often as obvious and it can be difficult for many to start the conversation. This can include feeling low, anxious, stressed or having distressing thoughts. Recognising when you are not feeling yourself, speaking to someone about how you’re feeling and supporting one another has never been more important.

Fire Service staff are exposed to more traumatic incidents than most, which can also have an impact on their mental health.  Statistics show emergency services have a high number of people who have experienced poor mental health.

Our aim as a Service is to reduce the stigma attached with mental health, by recognising the power of conversation and to make our staff feel as though they’re supported. It is important to know that mental ill health can affect anyone, at any time.

To watch the video click here.

Support available

This video was inspired by Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service‘s video. Click here to watch.

Please note, the appropriate safety measuresand Covid guidelines were followedduring filming, includingsocial distancing anda Perspex screen placed between each pairing. During the editing process we removed the screen and moved the pairings closer together.