Monday, May 20, 2024

East of England Ambulance Service challenging the stigma and discrimination around mental health

By Eric White

BOSSES at the region’s ambulance service have signed up to a national charity’s scheme to better support staff mental health.

Mind’s Blue Light Time to Change pledge encourages organisations to publicly commit to a series of actions that will tackle the stigma and discrimination around mental health, focusing on the workplace.

At the latest East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) Public Board meeting on Wednesday (25th May), Chief Executive Robert Morton and Chair Sarah Boulton signed the Trust’s pledge.

By signing the pledge, the Trust must demonstrate it has produced an action plan, detailing what will be delivered to commit to supporting the mental health of staff.

The third signatory on the pledge will be North Norfolk Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb, who campaigns on mental health care.

The Trust’s Health and Wellbeing Manager Debra Winterson said: “We are passionate about looking after our staff, and are currently working on a wide variety of projects that will gradually form a wide-ranging service.

"We have various information sources and confidential services to provide staff with the support they need, whenever they need it, and are looking at extending this range to ensure we offer the best possible service. Topics cover anything that can have an impact on someone’s mental health – work-life balance, anxiety and depression, right through to elder care and consumer rights. Our trauma risk management (TRiM) process also helps assess traumatic stress and signposts people to the most appropriate resources, assisting them back to full mental health and return to work.

“Improving our mental health has numerous positive consequences for us all. By building resilience, challenging stigma and by signing Mind’s Time to Change pledge we can really build on the support for our staff."

The Trust has joined more than 400 employers in England, across all sectors, who are working to tackle mental health stigma and to help keep their staff well for work.

During Mental Health Awareness Week earlier in May, the Trust arranged a workshop with Essex Police and Essex Fire and Rescue Service to explore familiar themes between the 999s about staff mental health.


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