Impressive Speakers Help Shine Spotlight on Bluelight Mental Health at Event

Former Rugby League player Danny Sculthorpe is one of the guest speakers at a special event which puts the spotlight on mental health in the emergency services.

The Cleveland Police You Matter event will take place at Hartlepool Rugby Club today and is the biggest mental health awareness conference in the history of the force, and is focused on raising awareness about wellbeing and the impact of dealing with trauma and crisis in bluelight services.

Over 170 workers from policing, the fire service and other emergency services will hear from powerful speakers including former Chief Superintendent John Sutherland from the Metropolitan Police who is the author of the bestselling book, ‘Keeping the Peace and Falling to Pieces’, and Mike McGrother from the Wildcats of Kilkenny who is a leading voice for men’s mental health locally.

The Force has embarked on training a number of officers and staff as Bluelight Champions, who are trained to signpost people to support services and offer a listening ear to those dealing with mental ill health.

Inspector Phil Spencer, who leads on the Bluelight Programme for Cleveland Police said: “It has never been so important for us to tackle the stigma associated with mental health. We must provide the right support for those who need help, but also we need to talk about our mental health in everyday conversations.

“The guest speakers at the conference will talk about their personal experiences and show that like physical health, mental ill health does not discriminate. It can happen to anyone, at any time. That’s why events like this are so important in bringing the issue to the fore.”