Wellbeing

Find information about the support available at the RNLI, along with resources to help you look after your wellbeing and health. 

Five people in yellow RNLI Lifeboats vests gather round another figure dressed as the Stormy Stan mascot.

Photo: Callum Robinson

Our greatest asset at the RNLI is you. Without you, we would not be able to provide our lifesaving service and strive to save every one. Your wellbeing and health are vital for leading fulfilled and healthy lives, both inside and outside of your RNLI role. We are committed to creating an environment in which our people are comfortable being themselves and prioritise their wellbeing.  

Support is here for you. Things don’t have to be at a crisis point before you reach out. If you are struggling, know you are not alone and there are lots of support options available to you whenever you may need them. 

Where to go for support

For a one-page reminder of the wellbeing support that is available, you can download these posters to print and display.

Your RNLI manager is here to support you in your role and is the first port of call for you to raise any concerns or emerging issues. They can signpost you to support through the RNLI or make changes to help you feel better – whether that’s reducing the pressure on you for a short time or getting you more involved with something you love doing.  

If you are not sure who to speak to, you can find contact details for a range of support teams on our get in touch page.

The RNLI’s Welfare Adviser is available for confidential chats with anyone who is going through a difficult time or who may be concerned about the welfare of a team member. Common issues include physical or mental health, stress, trauma, work, volunteering, finances, bereavement, and relationships. The Welfare Adviser is here to listen without judgement and to help you access the right support, either internal or external to the RNLI.

You can contact our Welfare Adviser, Miriam Lewis, at +44 (0)7824 866046 or email [email protected].

RNLI Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAiders) are here to have a confidential chat with anyone who has a mental health concern or is concerned about the mental health of someone else. They are peers who have been trained to listen, provide initial support and signpost you to further help if needed. There are currently over 100 MHFAiders across all RNLI regions and nations in Ireland and the UK. You can reach out to any MHFAider; they do not need to be in your team or region.

To connect with a Mental Health First Aider or find out more, email [email protected].

Trauma Risk Management (TRiM) is a voluntary and confidential peer-support system designed to assist any RNLI person who has been involved in or exposed to a potentially traumatic incident as part of their RNLI role.

TRiM practitioners are non-medical colleagues from within the RNLI who have received specific training enabling them to understand the effects that traumatic events can have on people and to identify signs of distress that may otherwise go unnoticed. They are here to listen, offer practical advice and signpost you to other appropriate sources of support if needed.  

To request TRiM support or to find out more, get in touch by emailing [email protected] or by calling the RNLI Central Operations and Information Room:

You can also request TRiM support through contacting the RNLI Central Operations and Information Room:  

Freephone UK: 0800 011 3129  

Freephone Ireland: 1800 200 376 

Email: [email protected]

The RNLI Occupational Health Team specialises in ensuring volunteers and staff are fit to perform their roles. As well as providing expert advice and support on issues of health and wellbeing across the RNLI, they’re responsible for: 

  • processing and recording health assessments 
  • coordinating health surveillance activities 
  • providing impartial advice in referred cases where someone’s role may be adversely impacting their health – or their health may be impacting their ability to perform their role. 

Speak to your volunteer manager if you’d like to be referred to talk to an occupational health adviser, or get in touch with the team to find out more by calling +44 (0)1202 663567 or emailing [email protected].

If something doesn’t feel right, don’t bottle it up. There are several ways in which volunteers and staff can raise an issue or a concern. Read more about the options available to you in the Raising Organisational Concerns Policy (PDF 178KB).

Operational volunteers and staff

Families Programme 

It can be challenging living with a pager. Support is available for families of operational crew members at the RNLI, which you can read about in the Families Programme Booklet (PDF 1.1MB) or get in touch by emailing [email protected]

Support available for operational volunteers and staff  

If you are an operational volunteer or staff member, you can log in to Horizon with your RNLI email address and password, or speak to your RNLI manager to find out about: 

  • Support 24/7 – a free, confidential, and independent support service to help you through any personal or professional challenges (including but not limited to childcare, legal, housing and/or financial issues). They provide a 24/7 helpline, advice, resources, and short-term counselling to help you balance your volunteering, work, family and personal life.
  • The RNLI’s Lifeboat Benevolent Fund – financial support for serving and former crew, shore crew, lifeguards and their families experiencing hardship.   
  • The RNLI’s Personal Injury Benefit (PIB) scheme – financial assistance towards a loss of earning incurred as a result of an injury sustained whilst volunteering on RNLI operational duty or exercise.

External resources

Samaritans (UK and Ireland): Call 116 123 – whatever you are going through, a Samaritan will face it with you.  

Shout (UK): Text SHOUT to 85258 to text with a trained volunteer. 

Text 50808 (Ireland): Text HELLO to 50808 to text with a trained volunteer.

Looking after our mental health is not something we should only do if we are struggling, feeling low, anxious, or stressed. Our mental health is something we should prioritise and invest in, just like our physical health. Explore the resources below to see what you can do to boost your mental wellbeing. 

Official government websites for the UK and Ireland: 

Useful self-care resources, information and support: 

Any amount of physical activity is good for you and your wellbeing. Local walks, running, swimming, yoga or cycling are great ways to clear your head and stay active, no matter how long or short your session is. 

Keeping connected

If you’re on Facebook, you can join our RNLI Volunteers Facebook Group, a place for you to connect with volunteers from across the UK and Ireland, share tips, ideas and support each other. 

The RNLI also has four active People Networks that you can get involved in, which are committed to equality, diversity and inclusion. They help us to identify what we already do well and influence our charity to act when change is needed. These include the Disability Network, Race Equality Network, Harbour Network (LGBT+) and the Young Professionals NetworkRNLI People Networks - PDF (67.7KB)

You could also join an online community or peer-support group so you can talk to others about how you feel. UK groups like Clic (Mental Health UK), Side by Side (MIND), the SANE Support Forum are available 24 hours a day. Grow.ie run weekly support meetings in Ireland.  

Additional resources to help you keep connected: 

If you are unable to find what you are looking for, please email [email protected] with any requests or feedback.