Prioritising Focus on Mental Health with STORMShield

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Every year, International Control Room Week provides the opportunity to recognise and celebrate the tireless efforts of call handlers and dispatchers who work behind the scenes to ensure our safety. Sopra Steria are proud to sponsor this important week, and recognise the pivotal role these unsung heroes play in emergency response and public safety. During this week of celebration, it's essential to remember that the challenging nature of control rooms can take a toll on mental health.

STORM is our market-leading Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) software trusted by nearly 70% of the UK's police forces and deployed internationally. STORMShield a free offering for STORM customers, is aimed at helping supervisors support their teams through the stressors in their daily work.

Control room professionals are the backbone of our emergency response systems. They are responsible for managing high-stress situations, dispatching response officers, and coordinating critical resources. Their work involves making split-second decisions, often under tremendous pressure, which can be emotionally taxing. The nature of their job exposes them to distressing situations daily, including accidents, natural disasters, and medical emergencies.

Despite the critical nature of their work, the mental health of these professionals is often overlooked. The toll that the constant exposure to stress and traumatic incidents, even on a low-level, can take on their well-being is significant. Long hours, high workloads, and the need for constant vigilance can contribute to mental health challenges, and forces have reported that mental health is a key contributor to high levels of sickness absence. Recognising and addressing these mental health challenges is of paramount importance.


In an effort to offer an additional tool to control room supervisors, Sopra Steria is launching an innovative addition to STORM. STORMShield, is a free offering to STORM customers and is designed to help control room supervisors monitor the impact of daily stressors on their team members.

STORMShield is based on a concept created by one of our team members, who having worked in a control room, had firsthand experience of the cumulative stress that resulted from working in an environment where there were relentless calls coming in, often of a challenging nature. At Sopra Steria, we celebrate all good ideas, and are proud to have turned this initiative into reality, and to be deploying it into control rooms next month. It is a proactive approach to helping supervisors safeguard the mental health of control room professionals.

Here's how it works:

  • Real-time monitoring: STORMShield provides control room supervisors with real-time insights into the stress levels of their team members. By assigning a score to each incident type, and adding this to an accumulator, supervisors can see in real-time, the potential effect of a shift on their teams.
  • Self-report function: Individuals can flag to their supervisors if they are feeling the strain using the self-report functionality. Supervisors will be able to see that their team member has self-identified stress levels and act accordingly.
  • Last log-in view: Supervisors will be able to see what accumulator score their team member had experienced in their last STORM session, supporting in identifying trends and allowing a supervisor to intervene before one bad day becomes many.

The impact of STORMShield

STORMShield is not intended to de-stress the control room. We know that the control room environment is a busy, and sometimes intense one, but by helping supervisors to recognise and be cognisant of the mental health challenges their teams face, they can take proactive measures to mitigate the effects of daily stressors. This not only benefits the mental well-being of call handlers and dispatchers, reducing the strain of sickness absence, but also ensures the efficiency and effectiveness of emergency response operations.

International Control Room Week is a time to celebrate and appreciate the dedication and hard work of call handlers and dispatchers. It is also an opportunity to acknowledge the mental health challenges they face daily. STORMShield, is an offering that is step in the right direction, that we will look to build on as it is implemented across control rooms, and feedback received.

Get in touch to learn more about STORMShield



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