Officers of the Barbados Fire Service have been warned to maintain good physical and mental health.
This was the advice of Dr Cyralene Bryce as she addressed the Barbados Fire Service Awards Ceremony and Dinner at the Savannah Hotel, Hastings, Christ Church on Saturday night.
Bryce’s admonishment to the officers was to take care of twheir mental and emotional health as their jobs were intensive and stressful.
“Good mental health is like the gas of life, without it you will go nowhere but the facility of good mental health must be applied in order for your achievements to be had,” she pointed out.
The psychiatrist insisted that local firefighters could only perform at their best if they were holistically in good health.
“When you achieve good mental health, you have the necessary fuel which you can use to raise the bar, and not only to reach for excellence but also to achieve it.”
Bryce revealed that one in four persons were likely to be diagnosed with a mental disorder. As a result, the mental health professional said it was imperative for individuals to take preventive measure to ensure their wellness.
“Good mental health isn’t about the absence of mental disorders. Being mentally and emotionally healthy is much more than being free from depression, anxiety and other psychological issues,” Bryce said.
“Good mental health is a necessary but not sufficient condition for achieving your objectives,” she added.
The psychiatrist gave the fire officers five tips for good mental health. On the list was maintaining close friendships, exercising more, managing stress, eating a balanced diet and getting more sleep.
Given the officers’ busy lives, Bryce said it was important for the mind and body to work in unison.
“The mind and the body are intrinsically linked. When you improve your physical health, you automatically experience greater mental and emotional well-being,” she pointed out.
Chief Fire Officer, Errol Maynard in his brief remarks told officers not to be blinded by their emotions as they sought to achieve their goals.
“It does not matter what the trigger is, your intelligence must always determine your response,” he urged.