Following World Mental Health Day yesterday (10 October), The Prince of Wales visited the Milton Keynes Blue Light Hub to highlight the importance of supporting the mental health of emergency responders.
The Blue Light Hub is the operational base of South Central Ambulance Service, Thames Valley Police and Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service and is one of the first purpose-built combined fire, police and ambulance premises in the country. Collaboration between the three services was at the forefront of the design which encourages fire, police and ambulance colleagues to work together at every opportunity to ensure they are supporting each other and providing the best possible service to the community.
The Prince met with a group of young people, including Blue Light mental health champions and volunteers, who have recently joined the emergency and search and rescue services. His Royal Highness heard first-hand from those in the early stages of their careers about the challenges they face.
During the visit he talked with newly qualified SCAS paramedics Graeci Shawcross and Mitchell Brown.
The conversation focussed on the vital importance of equipping those working in the emergency services with the skills to help protect their mental health and build their resilience, and was joined by broadcaster, journalist and psychologist Dr Sian Williams.
Supporting the mental health of this community is a cause close to the heart of The Prince of Wales, as he saw first-hand the challenges emergency responders face on a daily basis whilst serving as a pilot with RAF search and rescue and East Anglian Air Ambulance.
The visit follows Their Royal Highnesses longstanding commitment to encourage people to speak openly about their mental health, including through the milestone Heads Together campaign that we launched in 2016.