Did you know that there is a difference between ‘mental health’ and ‘mental illness’? Many people don't. We all have mental health in the same way we have physical health. Being mentally healthy doesn’t mean that we don’t have a 'mental health problem'.

If you have good mental health, you can:

  • make the most of your potential
  • cope with life
  • play a full part within your family, workplace, community and among friends

In certain businesses and industries, including here at Devon Air Ambulance, staff can be exposed to stressful or traumatic situations, but 1 in 4 people per year will have a mental health concern for any number of reasons. It is therefore crucial to the smooth running of our organisation that we do all we can to support our people both to maintain good mental health but also to cope when they do find themselves struggling.

Pastoral support

Devon Air Ambulance recently welcomed a volunteer chaplain who is available to offer impartial secular or spiritual support to staff should they feel the need to speak confidentially to someone about their experiences and associated feelings.

Specialist support

Operational staff, who frequently have to deal with traumatic situations that can have long-lasting impact, can access specialist support through services like Red Poppy and Mind Blue Light, an initiative established with a particular focus on supporting the mental health of those who work within the emergency services.

Staff working with patients and their families post incident also receive bereavement training from CRUSE to assist them when working with people who have lost loved ones.

Broader support

Devon Air Ambulance has signed up to the Mindful Employer Charter in order to develop and improve our support for the well-being of all our staff. Our human resources team and line managers have also undertaken Mental health First Aid England (MHFA) training.

As a Charity we are able to signpost staff to a range of other support organisations depending on individual needs and circumstances. Staff training helps to provide the skills, knowledge and understanding of first aid for mental health and explains how to effectively support a person experiencing mental health issues, and how to support themselves and those around them.

If you have any questions about our policy on the mental health of staff, please contact our HR department with any questions on 01392 466666. Devon Air Ambulances has signed the Charter for Employers Who Are Positive About Mental Health.