Essex firefighter: 'be honest about your feelings'

Andre Turner

Firefighter Andre Turner says it's good to talk about mental health. - Credit: Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

An Essex firefighter says talking about mental health issues should never been seen as a sign of weakness.

Andre Turner, Watch manager at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, believes because many people label them as heroes, living up to that expectation means some firefighters do not reach out for help when they should.

He said: “There is still a stigma in society and in all organisations around talking about how we feel.  

"People say: 'It’s a sign of weakness, I don’t want to expose a flaw, I’m afraid it will affect my progression.

“By being honest about our feelings, we are being honest with ourselves. That’s why it is important to talk."

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ECFRS has support available for colleagues and encourages employees to seek help when they need it.

Andre says anyone can struggle with mental health and believes in the old saying "a problem shared is a problem halved."

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