AMBulance staff are a tough breed and they know what they are signing up for when they take on the job they do. But make no mistake their role is no stroll in the park, they are at the frontline of traumatic, dramatic and bloody events day in day out and will witness scenes on a regular basis that most of us would take months or years to process and come to terms with.
Our investigation today shows what a toll their work is having on the mental health of their staff with one in 10 is taking time off sick with stress, anxiety, depression or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
That might not be that surprising, it’s an incredibly stressful job, but what happens next to those staff should concern us.
Those in a caring health profession should, you would think, be the first to get treatment for recognised health issues. The YEP’s speak your mind campaign this year focuses on mental health in the workplace and we would expect the NHS to be at the forefront of offering blue-light workers that support. We are not second-guessing what the reasons behind these figures are. As Halifax MP Holly Lynch, who instigated the Protect the Protectors bill, says: “there are a number of contributing factors.” But, as Mahbu Rahman, Blue Light Programme Manager at Mind, said, whatever the reasons “employers can’t deny the importance of promoting good mental health at work.”
And that echos the YEP’s #Speakyourmind campaign, which this year focuses on mental health in the workplace. We need the NHS to lead the way in good practice.