A new 18-month long study of over 10,000 frontline workers highlighting the critical state of poor staff mental health across the emergency services sector was launched at The Emergency Services Show at the NEC in Birmingham today. The State of Mental Wellbeing on the UK Frontline report[1], compiled by mental fitness experts, 87%, is based on confidential data taken from its innovative mental health platform, throughout the course of the pandemic. It found that as many as 60% of emergency service workers are experiencing chronically poor work-life balance and 10% of staff said that they have recently had suicidal thoughts.

Free-to-attend, and open today and tomorrow, The Emergency Services Show is designed to equip front line workers with the tools and techniques needed to maximise wellbeing, whilst improving operational performance. In the dedicated Health & Wellbeing Seminar Theatre, sponsored by MSA Safety, audiences will hear about the real-life experiences of practitioners, front line responders and experts in the field including the likes of Andy Elwood, an experienced former RAF paramedic and now campaigner on mental wellbeing. Mind Blue Light will talk about Mind’s Covid-19 response and offer advice on how emergency responders can look after their own mental health and support their colleagues during the pandemic. Consultant psychotherapist Rebekah Golds-Jones will present findings from her MSc thesis on suicide and first responders which considers how to reduce the stigma around seeking mental health support and the importance of therapy for 999 teams.

“Employees of blue light services are at greatest risk of experiencing mental health issues and yet among the least likely to deal with them. A recent survey also showed 69% of emergency responders feel their mental health has deteriorated during the pandemic[2]. Improving wellbeing makes frontline working safer, more effective and more rewarding, so we must now make it a priority to build resilience in our emergency services,” explains David Brown, Event Director, The Emergency Services Show.

Throughout the two-day event, The Eleos Partnership will be sharing tips on reducing the impacts of stress and pressure and PTSD999 will be offering trauma response training, and expertise on psychological health and safety and the assessment and treatment of PTSD. Other experts sharing details of their latest wellbeing initiatives include Oscar Kilo, Police Care UK and Surfwell – Devon & Cornwall and Dorset Police who use surfing as a form of therapy.

In the networking hub of the show, The Collaboration Zone, over 80 emergency services, voluntary groups, charities and NGOs will be sharing details of the support they offer. Organisations involved include Christian Ambulance Association, Railway Mission, The Fire Fighters Charity and the Bluelight Cycling Club.

Free-to-attend and based in Hall 5 and the Outside Area at the NEC, The Emergency Services Show 2021 will for the first time be co-located with not only The Health & Safety Event but also the Safety & Security Event Series, The Fire Safety Event, The Security Event, The Facilities Event and newly launched National Cyber Security Show, creating the UK’s largest event dedicated to the protection of people, places and assets.

Parking at the NEC for show visitors is free. Register in advance for free entry to all six events with a single pass at: www.emergencyuk.com

[1] The State of Mental Wellbeing on the UK Frontline is available to download in full at www.87percent.co.uk/frontline-report and members of the Senior 87% Team will be available at the Emergency Services Show to discuss the findings, on Tuesday 7th and Wednesday 8th September. Anyone wishing to organise an interview with either Andy Bibby, CEO of 87%, or Dr Serra Pitts, Clinical Director of 87% and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, should contact:

James Gwinnett, Marketing & Communications Director, 87%, M: +44 7590 267697, E: james@87percent.me

[2] Blue Light Covid-19 Response Report 2021, carried out by Mind