This event was for Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service to sign the Mind Blue Light “Time to Change” pledge for World Mental Health Day on the 10th October 2018. Tim Allison, UNISON Steward explained that “the pledge is to identify and reduce mental health issues within Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service. This initiative is welcomed and fully supported by UNISON. A Service Wellbeing group has been formed comprising management, Trade Unions, safety, equality and diversity staff from within the service with assistance from local Mind advisers”
On the day there were representatives from the Trauma Risk Management (TRiM) team, who are available for first line intervention following difficult work experiences and are able to signpost staff onto appropriate assistance when necessary. Tim said “we also had our Occupational Health providers present – including both physical and mental health representatives. All the Unions had representatives were there along with the Fire Fighters Charity to raise awareness of the services they can provide for mental health, as well as physical injuries.”
County Councillor Margaret Dewsbury – who has responsibility for the fire service – also attended, and signed the pledge on behalf of Norfolk County Council.
The event was well attended with around 60 people from all parts of the service and partner organisations taking part. There even was a cake “bake off” which was judged by Chief Officer David Ashworth who in his speech confirmed the Service’s commitment to the mental health of its staff.