A POWERFUL video released on behalf of frontline ambulance staff reveals many are experiencing mental health issues due to work pressures.

The video was published by Trades Union, Unison, which represents the East of England Ambulance Service.

It contains the voice of a paramedic who tells of feeling suicidal before a colleague stepped in to help.

Unison has created the footage using comments gathered during a survey of more than 900 employees.

Fraer Stevenson, Unison branch secretary, said: “Morale is rock bottom, we have never known it to be this low.

“Staff are frustrated and exhausted, working regularly 14 to 15 hour shifts and overtime hours takes its toll mentally and physically.

It is not sustainable.”

She added: “We saw a record high of sickness levels in December and mainly around mental health and stress.”

Kevin Brown, the trust’s director of service delivery, said: “The wellbeing of our staff is of paramount importance.

“We know and recognise being very late off duty is one of the biggest issues that face our frontline staff. We have tried, in partnership with Unison to find solutions and have trialled a number of initiatives over the past 18 months but these have not achieved the desired outcomes.

“Ultimately we know both the underlying issue and the solution sits in having an increased level of ambulances and staffing and this comes with more funding.

“We know this is a national issue and we are pleased that our regulators have delivered a review of our capacity and made recommendations for increased resourcing. We will now work with commissioners to translate those recommendations into more staff to relieve the pressure on our workforce.”