Sharing your stories can help you cope

Hindley Prison
Hindley Prison

Prison workers are urging borough residents to take example from emergency services staff when it comes to talking about mental health.

Organisers of the Our Blue Light campaign say open discussions about mental health and wellbeing is the best way to deal with the issue, ahead of a relay that will pass through Hindley Prison.

HR business partner for HMP Hindley, Tracey Ravela said the awareness campaign had so far resulted in many paramedics, police officers and prison guards to reach out for support.

She said: “In each of the emergency services, we’ve been asking people to come forward and share their experiences of mental health.

“That resulted in a number of people coming forward and saying, ‘I want to share my story’. In particular, male staff came forward and shared incidents that have happened to them.”

Tracey added: “It’s a very challenging job, but the message is getting out there that its okay to talk, and that it’s the best thing to do.”

That message will be spread with the help of the Mental Health Torch, which will pass by HMP Hindley on its relay.

The relay, which began in Blackpool in April, will stop off at HMP Manchester overnight before reaching Hindley the following afternoon. A group of prison staff, including its governor Mark Livingston, will then cycle with the torch toward Lancashire Police.

Our Blue Light was established in 2016. Its aim is to improve the mental health, wellbeing and working life of emergency and essential services including police, fire, ambulance, search and rescue, prison service and the NHS.

Anyone involved in the these services is encouraged to get involved by coming forward with their experiences, or arranging their own events.

For more information, visit ourbluelight.com.