29-Nov-2021 Source: London’s Air Ambulance Charity
Dr John Chatterjee, a Consultant with London’s Air Ambulance Charity, attended and spoke at an Emergency Services Mental Health Symposium, hosted by The Royal Foundation.
At the event HRH The Duke of Cambridge, Patron of London’s Air Ambulance Charity, gave a keynote speech about the importance of prioritising mental health in the emergency services, drawing on his own experiences as an air ambulance pilot.
Dr John Chatterjee took part in a live panel discussion about mental health, discussing his own personal experiences as a first responder, having been part of the teams attending the Grenfell Tower Fire and London Bridge terror attack in 2017. John has worked for London’s Air Ambulance Charity since 2013, and says that his experiences trying to care for patients and families in the ‘ordinary’ and ‘extraordinary’ circumstances in and around London have informed and humbled him.
Speaking at the event this morning, John said:
“You put this uniform on, and mine is particularly bright! And it feels like a suit of armour. There are things I do in this uniform I would never do in my jeans. The most important thing is opening this suit of armour and people seeing that we’re all human beings and we all suffer.”
Speaking on the panel alongside Dr Chatterjee were Martin Blunden: Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Roger Watson: East Midlands Ambulance Service, Una Jennings: Cheshire Constabulary and the discussion was facilitated by Nick Knowles. Each panellist spoke about their lived experiences working on the frontline and how they deal with mental health challenges in their roles.
The symposium brought together emergency service leaders, frontline workers, policy makers and academics to discuss the mental health of our emergency services, and was hosted in partnership with the National Police Chiefs’ Council, National Fire Chiefs Council, Association of Ambulance Chief Executives and United Kingdom Search and Rescue.
Supporting the mental health and wellbeing of the emergency services community is an important priority for The Duke of Cambridge and The Royal Foundation and London’s Air Ambulance supports the vital work being done in this space.