The children of South Yorkshire firefighters have spoken about their ‘kind’, ‘loving’ and ‘brave’ dads in a brand new campaign video from the county’s fire service.
Filmed as part of International Father’s Mental Health Day (IFMHD), the video features five youngsters talking about the things they love about their dads – all of whom are serving firefighters.
South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) says it has produced the video in a bid to show that, beneath the tough outer shell, every firefighter is a normal and vulnerable human being.
The service is also hoping to highlight and support the messaging around IFMHD – which is that men can also experience postpartum depression and may need support of their own.
“We know that society generally views men as stoic and strong, especially those who work within the fire, police and military services. However, we are still only human, like anyone else,” said Chief Fire Officer, Chris Kirby.
“We want to make it clear to any men working for South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, and in fact all men living across the county, that it is ok to talk if you’re struggling.
“We also wanted to support the messaging given out around Father’s Mental Health Day – which is that even the strongest of men can suffer from conditions such as postnatal depression.
“Whoever you are and whatever you do, don’t suffer in silence. Help is out there.”
The fire service’s backing for this Father’s Day themed campaign comes after years of work to improve the health and wellbeing support offered to firefighters across South Yorkshire.
An employee assistance programme, which offers help on a range of issues from finance to family life, is one of the key systems the service has put in place recently.
Firefighters can then also benefit from a critical incident wellbeing support programme, which involves specially trained members of staff visiting crews that have been involved in potentially upsetting incidents.
These things are offered to staff on top of the service’s existing provision – which includes a full-time occupational health department and an onus on managers to look after their staff.
The service has also supported Andy’s Man Club for many years, and has recently launched a mental health walking group for male emergency service staff – both serving and retired.
The video can be viewed here on the SYFR YouTube channel.
Anybody in need of support or someone to talk to can contact Samaritans on 116 123 – their service is completely free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.