ECFRS encourages acts of kindness as it reminds people 'it's ok not to be ok'
As part of Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May, 2020), Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is reminding people that no matter who you are, it's ok not to be ok.
One of the main messages is that mental health problems can affect anyone, at any time, and that mental health is everyone's business.
In a 2018 public survey carried out by ECFRS, when asked to describe the fire and rescue service in three words, 'brave', 'heroes' and 'strong' were some of the top results.
Jo Turton, Chief Fire Officer/ Chief Executive, said:
"Of course these descriptions are true, but we're so much more than that too - we're educators, communicators, community-minded, role models and of course, real people.
"It's so important to recognise this, because when you're in a role where you're constantly described like this you sometimes feel you need to live up to it, and consequently, it can be even harder to admit you're struggling.
"We offer mental health services to all of our staff and encourage them to take up the offer whenever they need it, regardless of whether it's something at work or home that's made them feel like they need a helping hand.
"Being honest about how you feel is never a weakness, it's a strength. No matter who you are, or what you do, the most important thing to remember is it's ok not to be ok."
Another aim of the awareness week is to bring people together through the benefits of sharing kindness.
From the Thursday night clap for carers, to the endless thank you messages and donations of food and supplies, acts of kindness are something the Service has seen increase of since the coronavirus outbreak.
Rick Hylton, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, said:
"Always wanting to pay it forward, we've seen many of our colleagues step up to volunteer in roles from moving hospital beds and setting up hospital wards to delivering care packages to vulnerable people.
"We're also really proud of our firefighters who have stepped forward to drive ambulances and support our health service during this difficult time.
"Little acts of kindness can go a long way in improving other people's mental health as well as your own.
"At a time when we're all feeling a little more vulnerable I encourage people to embrace this feeling and continue looking out for each other and doing what you can to make life that little bit easier for everyone."
Page last updated 15 May, 2020