At Freedom Care we were interested to hear about some recent research conducted by the mental health charity Mind into the mental health and wellbeing of people working in the emergency services. It found that nearly 9 in 10 (87%) emergency services staff and volunteers surveyed have experienced some level of stress, low mood and poor mental health at some point while working for the emergency services, and that 55% had experienced mental health problems. This contrasts with 26% of the general workforce experiencing mental health problems (according to research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)).

However, they are also less likely to take time off sick as a result. 43% of emergency service workers and volunteers surveyed said they have taken time off work due to poor mental health as compared with 57% in the general workforce.

The findings indicate that working in emergency services is associated with a greater risk of developing poor mental health and also that emergency service workers seem to find it harder than other professions to say when they’re not at their best and keep coming to work regardless. It may be the case that people in these professions are either fearful of talking about mental health at work or are worried that their employers view mental health problems as invalid reasons for sickness absence. All of which is quite ironic given that these services are often working with people “on the edge” in one way or another and yet – if the research is to be believed – reluctant to face the equivalent issue within.

Although this research concentrated on the emergency services, at Freedom Care we are all too aware of the many individuals and families struggling with issues to do with mental health care and other complex health needs. A situation like these can become very isolating, which can only make matters worse.

There was a very effective campaign towards the end of 2014 aimed at removing the fear factor from people needing mental health care. Time to Change was England’s most ambitious programme to end the stigma and discrimination experienced by people with mental health problems. It was led by Rethink Mental Illness, in partnership with Mind, and focussed on the many small things that everyone can do to support someone who might have a mental health problem. The campaign included radio adverts, Spotify advertising and a national partnership with Metro partnership. Everyone who was featured in the campaign had either had a personal experience of mental health problems or been there for a friend, colleague or loved one whilst they needed mental health care.

If you are facing challenging issues to do with mental health care for either yourself or perhaps a family member then you need to understand that you are not alone. Much help and support is available both to help the individual and to take another step forward in removing the stigma so often associated with issues related to mental health.

At Freedom Care our aim is to provide person centred outcomes for adults with learning disabilities and mental health care needs. Our passion is to transform possibility into actuality.

If you would like to talk through how we may be able to be of service to you and your family, then why not get in touch today to start making things happen?  We couldn’t put it better than in the words of a family of one of our current service users:  “Freedom Care has benefited our son and our whole family. He is very happy and settled. His care is what he wants and needs, not what is easy. We wish Freedom Care had been open when he was younger. It has made a tremendous difference to his life. He’s tried the rest – now he’s got the best! ”

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