Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service leads UK in addressing mental health in the community

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Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service’s commitment to mental health

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS), with the endorsement of the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC), has become the first UK fire and rescue service to sign the refreshed Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health.

This public pledge signifies their commitment and detailed action plan to combat preventable poor mental health in their community.

The Prevention Concordat, overseen by the Office for Health and Improvement Disparities (OHID), is a national agreement.

Signatories acknowledge that factors like unemployment, debt, and drug misuse can escalate the risk of poor mental health.

The NFCC, which achieved Concordat status in 2019 through its Mental Health Board, collaborated with OHID to create a framework aiding other fire and rescue services in achieving this status.

Key elements of the Concordat pledge

The Concordat requires its signatories to:

  • Collaborate across sectors with various partners to minimise preventable poor mental health risks.
  • Employ evidence-based strategies to allocate resources effectively.
  • Exchange successful practices for wider implementation and regularly monitor and report progress to improve community wellbeing.

Statements from NFCC and LFRS representatives

Mark Thomas, NFCC’s Mental Health Lead, expressed his enthusiasm: “I am delighted to see NFCC and Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service confirm their ongoing commitment to collaborating with partners to promote good mental health through a prevention-focused approach.

“Members of our communities suffering from poor mental health are often at greater risk of coming to harm and therefore require prevention related assistance.

“Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service, and future Services signing up to principles of the Concordat, are sending a clear message that effective prevention can only be secured through a collaborative approach ensuring wherever possible, ‘every contact counts.”

Dan Moss, Area Manager for Prevention and Protection at LFRS, commented on the significance of this initiative: “This concordat offers a unique opportunity to fully integrate our work as a Service with those partner organisations who also act to ensure the safety and security of those with mental health problems.

£We take our responsibilities under the concordat very seriously, and we’re proud to be the first fire and rescue service to achieve this status.”

He further added: “Mental Health is just as important as physical health and we as a fire and rescue service, have a role to play in our community to support this and work to reduce health inequalities.”

Prevention Concordat Assessment Panel’s review

In reviewing LFRS’s application, which detailed their cross-sector prevention and people-centred actions, the Prevention Concordat Assessment Panel acknowledged the following:

  • LFRS’s active role in the Lincolnshire ICS mental health workstream.
  • The comprehensive approach towards vulnerable groups such as those with dementia and older adults.
  • Internal mental health support for fire and rescue staff being an exemplary practice.
  • Extensive partnership work across local government and the NHS, shaping LFRS’s practices and priorities in mental health.
  • LFRS’s submission being a welcome addition to the Concordat, introducing evidence-based initiatives to improve public mental health and inform future practices across England.
  • The broader impact of mental health issues

It is noted that one in six adults will experience at least one diagnosable mental health problem in their lifetime, influenced by various environmental factors.

Thus, many mental health issues can be prevented.

Signatories of the Prevention Concordat for Mental Health are committed to addressing these determinants to work towards a more equitable society.

IFSJ Comment

The commitment of Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) to the Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health marks a significant step in acknowledging and addressing mental health issues within the community.

This initiative reflects a growing awareness of the broader role fire and rescue services play in public health and wellbeing.

By becoming the first UK fire and rescue service to sign this concordat, LFRS sets a precedent for other services, demonstrating the importance of a comprehensive approach to mental health.

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