Asking for help: search and rescue

It can feel really difficult to ask for help when you need it – especially when you spend much of your time, whether working or volunteering, in helping others. But there are some steps you can take to build your confidence in having difficult conversations with colleagues.

“It shows great courage to speak to someone about what’s going on in your head.”

Tim Tittensor Police Officer working in Essex

Firstly, you might need to think about what you need to say, and what you’d like the outcome to be. Understanding your organisation’s policies can help you to know what a good outcome might look like for you.

Then, you need to find the right time and place to have your conversation. You’ll want to choose somewhere quiet and calm, where you can talk in private.

You might well have coped with more than ever before in the last couple of years, and it’s OK to need to think, and talk, about that. These resources might help you feel confident in having this chat with your manager, leader or supervisor.

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Seeking help for a mental health problem: Search and rescue

Seeking help for a mental health problem can be a really important step towards getting and staying well. This booklet can help you work out where to start.

  • 15 min read
  • UK-wide

Coping with what you’ve experienced during coronavirus: search and rescue

This guide from Mind is designed help you make sense of the things you’ve seen and experienced as an emergency responder in the search and rescue service during coronavirus.

It explores some the feelings you may be going through, experiences other responders have shared, tools and strategies to cope with difficult feelings and experiences, and how to deal with any long-lasting impacts to your working and personal life.

It’s available in both English and Welsh.

  • 20 min read
  • UK-wide

When I might need some help: volunteer responders

All of us need some help from time to time. These pages from Lifelines Scotland have information to recognise and understand why you might be struggling, and advice on what you can do to feel better.

  • 5 min read
  • Scotland

How to talk to your employer about your mental health

This short guide from Nuffield Health can help you to plan who to speak to, what to say, and how to progress after the conversation.

  • PDF
  • UK-wide
Nuffield Health

Managing mental wellbeing: Search and rescue

This booklet explains what can affect your mental health if you’re in search and rescue, and has practical ideas, tips and real-life examples.

  • 15 min read
  • UK-wide

Looking for more information, ideas and suggestions?