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Mental health support for frontline workers

Healthwatch Essex has launched a report which gives a unique insight into the mental health of frontline workers across the county. It is hoped that the findings will lead to more mental health support for emergency services staff.

The report was launched on National Emergency Services Day (999 Day) on 9 September. The participants of the study were drawn from Essex Police, British Transport Police, the East of England Ambulance Service and hospital staff. Around a third of participants said they had experienced, work-related stress, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts or PTSD, including while on duty.

The findings reveal that support for mental health was varied, and many people experienced barriers to accessing it. 57% of participants said they felt there was a stigma attached to mental illness in their workplace.

Chief Executive of Healthwatch Essex, Sam Glover, said:  

Lots has been done to encourage open conversations about mental health within these organisations but this report makes a number of recommendations about how life could be improved for frontline workers including by the provision of Mental Health First Aid training. We hope this insight, based on real stories of our police, paramedics and hospital staff, helps to inform meaningful change.

Image: Healthwatch Essex