Mental health problems are common with one in four of us in the UK experiencing mental ill health at some point in our lives.
Research suggests emergency service employees experience higher levels of mental ill health than the rest of society. We’re still trying to understand this but think it may be linked to a combination of organisational stress, trauma exposure and personality factors.
The good news is that volunteer responders tend to experience higher levels of wellbeing compared to employed colleagues and being a volunteer is a key part of this. However, we also know that you’re not immune to the impact of stigma.
There are two sides to stigma - social stigma, which is when others judge and treat us badly, and self-stigma, which is when we feel and think badly about ourselves.
Examples of social stigma are when jokes are made about people who are mentally unwell or when people are excluded from opportunities after disclosing a psychological injury. Examples of self-stigma are when we feel ashamed, weak, a failure or undeserving of help.
Both are a problem because they make it harder to access the support we need to get better.
Watch Murdo and Dan talk about how they're dealt with stigma and remember the Lifelines Essentials:
#1 - We all have mental health and responders are not invincible
#6 - Psychological injuries can heal