Mental Health in The Fire Service
It's widely known that the being fire fighter is a stressful and at times very traumatic job. Research from the mental health charity ‘Mind’ has found that 85% of people in the fire and rescue services have experienced stress and poor mental health at work.
The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has reaffirmed its commitment to tackling mental health problems in sport by announcing the appointment of the mental health charity Mind as an advisory body to assist the sport achieving its commitments to the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation.
The six core areas of the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation are:
Use the sport to promote good mental health and wellbeing
Adopt good mental health policies and best practices
Appoint ambassadors and role models
Tackle discrimination on the grounds of mental health
Support a pan-sport platform to develop and share resources and best practice
Regular monitoring of our performance
As a direct result of the Racing Welfare report it was recommended that there should be a review of the racing fixture list in relation to the workforce capacity it services. It noted that, "racing is a relentless industry which, for many, has intensified over the last number of years. Such a pace may be unsustainable psychologically for a number of sectors and individuals within the racing fraternity."
Other recommendations included a review of injury and pain management systems in relation to mental health, inclusive provision beyond the racing centres, risk assessments relating to workplace stress, plus increased awareness and support around working time regulations.
Racing Welfare also offers 5 steps on how to improve your wellbeing which can be found here.
If you feel like you need help, or you are worried about someone you know within the industry then you can access help from one of the chartable organisations listed below.
Worried about Someone?
A campaign was recently launched by Time to Change called 'In Your Corner' - designed for the whole horse racing community including jockeys, stable staff and trainers. The idea behind the campaign was to encourage men and women to recognise that looking out for each other is part of being a good mate; being someone's wingman.
If you think someone is struggling then don't be afraid to reach out to them. Ask if they are okay. And if they say say they are fine then don't be afraid to ask twice. Listen and don't judge. Mental health problems can be overwhelming but thankfully there is more and more help available. Help them make contact with one of the organisations listed below. The Racing Welfare Association runs a helpline for anyone who is involved in racing. For professional jockeys the Professional Jockey's Association runs a dedicated helpline with specialist advice and support.
Here are some Organisations that are there to HELP no matter how BIG or SMALL your concern
The Fire Fighters Charity
CALL 0800 389 8820 Monday - Friday
The Fire Fighters Charity was formed during the Second World War to support the bereaved families of firefighters who had died during the Blitz. The charity understands the mental, physical and social burdens that can come from being a past or present member of the UK's dedicated fire services community so they rescue the rescuers and help them never their lives when they most need it.
CALL 0800 040 7873 or 0800 040 7783 24 hours a day
TEXT 07860 018733
Sapper Support is a registered Charity providing helpline support for veterans and 999 staff experiencing PTSD and associated mental health illnesses. Run by volunteers, the helpline is accessible 24 hours a day.
MIND Infoline 0300 123 3393 (9am - 6pm Monday - Friday)
A confidential information and support line
CALL 116 123
Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year, for anyone who is struggling to cope. You can call Samaritans for free from any phone, email them, or visit their website to find details ofyour nearest branch.