First responders see a lot. It takes a toll—in increased absenteeism, stress leaves, career burnout, broken relationships—yet a stiff-upper-lip workplace culture often discourages anyone from getting help. We needed to change this behaviour and get first responders to share their stories instead of keeping them bottled up inside.
We used real stories and observations from real first responders to show our audience that they’re not the only ones suffering. A new website offered a variety of mental health tools, self-help diagnosis and other resources and encouraged visitors to call a 24-hour helpline where first responders could share their stories and get help.
The campaign was picked up by sister associations around the country and generated considerable interest from broadcast and industry/trade media. Most important of all: resource downloads and calls to the helpline picked up almost immediately after campaign launch—while sick days, stress leaves and absences have all trended down.