- Wednesday, 17 May 2023 08:36
Staff from across Avon Fire and Rescue Service (AF&RS) have worked together to come up with an eye-catching and impactful design to raise awareness of mental health and encourage those who need support to reach out.
In partnership with Bath Mind, the local, independent charity affiliated to the national mental health charity, Mind, the artwork depicts a firefighter that may be experiencing mental ill-health and shares the messaging: “We are all powerful, strong and resilient but sometimes we struggle.” The message aims to show that although you can appear one way on the outside – professionally or in your personal life – you might not feel the same way inside.
AF&RS has wrapped two fire appliances with the new design – one based in Bath and the other at Temple Fire Station in Bristol.
Chief Fire Officer Simon Shilton said: “Raising awareness of mental health and making sure our staff have the support they need is hugely important to me and the wider Service. Over the years, we continue to make strides in breaking the stigma of mental health and this campaign plays a part in that.
“Having served on the frontline, I know what our staff see regularly, so it’s about protecting them with a range of resources in place, managed by our Health, Safety and Wellbeing Team. By teaming up with Bath and Bristol Mind, we hope that this truck wrapping encourages our communities to seek help for their mental health if needed.”
With the design having been produced with the help of Bath Blue Watch, Watch Manager Rich Wheeler said: “Our aim has been to promote a positive take on mental Health, and to encourage people to talk and seek help if required.
“AF&RS is built on strong foundations where we strive to be the best, work courageously in our actions and ambitions, however the need to be transparent with our mental health, and inclusive in supporting each other is one of main priorities. We are hoping to showcase that having these feelings are normal, and talking about them is a positive step, and nothing to hold back from.”
Hannah Roper, Director of Business Development at Bath Mind, said: “Bath Mind are thrilled to be working in partnership with Avon Fire & Rescue Service, to support and promote positive mental health for the service and the wider community.
"Through this campaign we hope to encourage everyone to talk openly about their mental health, seek help at an early stage and reduce stigma associated with mental ill-health.
“Bath Mind are here for you. If you’re not sure where to start, our Access Mental Health Service can help you every step of the way to finding the right type of support to meet your needs. From our crisis telephone support to our befriending, community wellbeing services, supported-living and mental health first aid training in the workplace and in schools; as a local, independent charity, Bath Mind are here to support the mental health and wellbeing of everyone living in B&NES.”
Bath Mind is a local and independent mental health charity, working at the heart of the community in Bath and North East Somerset offering a wide range of services to support better mental health and wellbeing.
The truck wrapping comes as part of the Service’s wider campaign to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing during Mental Health Awareness Week (15-21 May). During the week, AF&RS will be sharing stories from staff on their experiences of mental health and a time when they’ve appeared and/or powerful, strong and resilient but may have been struggling. These will be shared across social media and on AF&RS’ YesYouCan careers website.