London Fire Chief Says She Has Received Counselling Since Grenfell

21 August 2017, 10:14

Dany Cotton told Nick Ferrari that she has sought help in the wake of Grenfell and that it's essential all those involved get the help they need.

The commissioner of the London Fire Brigade revealed on LBC that she is receiving help to deal with the aftermath of the Grenfell fire that killed 80 people.

“I happen to be having counselling myself.” Commissioner Cotton said. “It's really important, it's something that people need to talk about and work through to try and stop having problems in the future.“

As the stigma around mental health begins to diminish, Nick Ferrari praised the commissioner’s candidness as “very commendable”.

"There will be many who believe you know the top person, the commander or whatever, should just carry on.” Nick suggested. “But if you need help what you're saying, commissioner, is just put your hand up and say 'look I just need to talk it through with someone'."

“Absolutely. It's OK not to be OK, and it's really OK to talk about it." The commissioner said.

Cotton also explained what it was in particular about Grenfell that had affected her.

"One of the things I felt on the night was the overwhelming sense of responsibility because I was in charge and it was my firefighters at risk in the building, so that was an overwhelming sensation I never really experienced before so it's working through that for me."

As the head of the London Fire Brigade, Cotton is determined to make sure all her firefighters get the help they need.

“For me I feel a responsibility for my firefighters. Their mental health and wellbeing is really key for me, we're doing a massive amount of work with that.”

She also acknowledged that the psychological impact of Grenfell will extend far and wide, and that others affected should also seek help if they need it.

"I think it's really important for everybody to recognise that lots of people have been affected by it, people who've seen it on television, people who live in the local area.

“The whole mental health aspect is something that's really important that we deal with now.”