When grief becomes your emergency
Witnessing death can make it hard to switch off, even when the shift is over. Emergency services staff are likely to be confronted with loss more regularly than many other professions and it’s not uncommon for these experiences to take a toll on mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s why ‘You Behind the Uniform’ is offering self-care and confidential support designed around your needs. We also help families of blue light personnel and can help you to assist your colleagues. ‘You Behind the Uniform’ provides the tools and resources you need to manage during this painful and challenging time because we know bereavement is an emergency - no matter how strong you are, what you do, or how well trained you are.
You can attend our bespoke information days/workshops, visit our web pages to discover lots of helpful resources or contact our helpline for more direct support. If you are Behind the uniform, we are here for you.
- Learn to measure your own resilience – Over time, you may begin to identify what triggers/events may make you surpass personal thresholds for effectively coping with physical and emotional pressures. However, that is not to say that thresholds cannot be exceeded in a singular instance.
- Some days you will need more support – Not every day is the same – especially after bereavement.
- Ask for help and offer help to others – As a society, we tend to be very solution focused. When offering help to others, do not try to immediately ‘fix’ everything. Instead, offering listening support can often be all that a person needs at that particular time. If you feel you need additional support yourself, try to find someone else whom you feel confident talking to about your wellbeing.
- Set boundaries (and stick to them) – To help maintain your own resilience and wellbeing, remember to adhere to boundaries set. For example, if you only have 10 minutes to speak with someone, ensure you stick to this. Regular exceeding of personal boundaries can begin to impact wellbeing and resilience.
- You cannot carry everyone's problems.
- Use support in place at work – We always encourage individuals to access in-house support provided but realise this may not always be possible. For a list of possible alternatives, please refer to our signposting pack.
- Take time for yourself – Self Care is especially important. Whether this is having a nice meal, going for a walk, watching TV, reading a book or something else. Even if you do not feel like engaging in something intense, ensure you set time aside for yourself each day – even if this is to do nothing.