Background

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service (HIOWFRS) is made up of around 2,000 employees, which consist of approximately 85% firefighters and 15% support staff.

Eleos Partnership was engaged by the HIOWFRS Inclusion and Diversity Team to deliver a quick-start package of Mental Fitness and Resilience training to support the service’s three-year vision to:

  1. Through leadership, improve organisational mental fitness and resilience.
  2. Empower leaders to positively impact the mental health of their teams.
  3. Enhance performance and wellbeing.

The quick-start package quickly evolved into a tailored training programme for leaders and managers, covering topics such as mental fitness and resilience, mental health first aid, and line manager training.

 

Delivery

To meet the demands of the force’s shift patterns and COVID restrictions, training was delivered virtually and when possible, a select number of sessions were delivered face-to-face.

The training for Line Managers covered three key areas and all courses were supported with digital resources customised for the service.

 

Mental Fitness and Resilience - Individual

Before we can effectively lead others towards better Mental Fitness and Resilience, we must first become masters of ourselves.

This course covered the fundamental building blocks of individual Mental Fitness and Resilience and enabled Line Mangers to create a personalised approach to adopting a resilient mindset.

Mental Fitness and Resilience - Team

This course helped Line Managers to:

  • Understand how they can reduce emotional interference in their teams​.
  • Enable people to optimise their wellbeing and achieve their potential as individuals and as a team.​
  • Explore approaches, resources & tools to lead with mental health in mind.

Lead with Mental Health in Mind

To feel confident leading with mental health in mind​, this course covered the core MHFA syllabus with the addition of:

  • What you can do as a Line Manager – proactively and responsively.​
  • What your limits are as a Line Manager​.
  • Awareness of supporting resources available to Line Managers.

Line Manager Feedback

“We were a challenging bunch, especially as we had all been under severe stress over the last 18 months dealing with COVID 19. As a mixed ability and professional level group, the trainer’s were excellent at explaining the boundaries we require to take on this role to our peers and to protect ourselves. The skills demonstrated and additional information learnt will enhance care of our patients as well as support our colleagues going forward.”

 

“I personally found the course very challenging. It brought up many issues from my past, but from a clinical perspective it allowed me to have a greater understanding of the way our working lives can enhance our mental health as well as sometimes hinder. My tool box is a little heavier going forward, but I am equipped with some new tools to make it healthier.”

 

“Such a great course and so pleased to have been given this opportunity. All the materials are relevant and helpful to refer back to. I feel better prepared to support my colleagues if and when they need me. Honestly one of the best things I’ve done through work – thank you!”

 

Results

Following on from the success of the training, we were asked to carry out focus groups to:

  1. Inform the Mental Health Working Group and Wellbeing Tactical Group with a varied and representative view on what the Mental Health Plan should include.
  2. How it can be best supported for maximum benefit.
  3. How it could be best delivered within operational and practical constraints.
  4. To gather feedback from the initial training sessions to inform how a wider programme of training and education could be tailored for HIOWFRS.

Consultancy case study can be found here.

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