Emergency services research to be presented at National Conference

Thursday, 25 October, 2012

Research into why military personnel do not seek help for mental health issues, work-family relationships in the emergency services, and the effects of fire service community safety work will all be discussed during a national conference.

Researchers from across the UK are coming to Nottingham Trent University on November 13 for the inaugural conference, Emergency Management: Themes in Emergency Planning, Response and Recovery.

The event is being organised by the university's Emergency Services Research Unit (ESRU) and aims to bring academics and practitioners together to learn about the latest developments in the emergency services and to share current research and information.

Among the papers being discussed will be a study from ESRU, which identified the masculine culture of the military as a key reason behind personnel not addressing mental health issues. Researchers found there was a stigma associated with seeking help - in an environment which values strength above all else and signs of weakness as unacceptable.

Figures show that less than a quarter of military personnel diagnosed with common mental health disorders sought help in 2010, despite the military instigating measures to tackle the problem.

The role psychology plays in enabling emergency service working families adjust to the role of their loved ones will also be discussed, along with the results of a project with the fire and rescue service, investigating the effects of community safety activity on incident rates.

Other papers being presented during the event in the university's Nottingham Conference Centre will also explore emerging themes in emergency management; challenging behaviour at emergency incidents; and the evidence for emergency planning in health.

Researcher Vivienne Brunsden, the Head of the Emergency Services Research Unit at Nottingham Trent University, said: "This promises to be an extremely interesting and informative conference, covering a wide range of research into emergency services and management. It will allow for the development of opportunities in promoting and initiating future research into this fascinating area."

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