Fed chair welcomes new mental health hotline

South Wales Police Federation chair Steve Treharne says a new 24/7 crisis hotline will be a welcome addition to the mental health support available to officers.

Oscar Kilo, the National Police Wellbeing Service, is set to launch the round-the-clock service in spring as part of the Police Covenant.

Steve said: “A 24/7 hotline has been needed for a long time for officers in crisis, so this new service will be most welcome when it starts.

“It will mean that whatever time of day or night, someone will be there to offer vital support.

Support for members

“The crisis line is one part of the help that’s available for officers, with support also there for members before they reach crisis point.

“Through the Federation’s Welfare Support Programme, hundreds of members have already accessed life-changing, confidential and independent services from clinical assessments to counselling with trained and accredited professionals.

“But we also need to make time and space available for officers to decompress and debrief after attending potentially traumatic incidents.

“We need a holistic approach to mental health that helps prevent issues in the first place and then addresses them when they do arise.”



Andy Rhodes, National Police Wellbeing Service director, said: “This pivotal move by the Home Office is not only timely, but aligns seamlessly with the ongoing efforts to bolster the mental health support available within the policing community.  

“In our expert view, this initiative is very much needed and follows on from the work that's already being done to support the mental health of police officers and staff.

“The journey from the suicide prevention consensus statement, the development of the Police Covenant, and the creation of a chief medical officer for policing have all been crucial steps towards understanding and addressing the unique mental health challenges faced by those in the policing profession.  

Emergency services

“We believe that now, more than ever, it is the right time for more focus to be put into this area, ensuring that our officers and staff have access to the support they need, whenever they need it.  

“In developing this service, we will be working collaboratively with partners across the policing and emergency services landscape. Our approach will be inclusive and consultative, ensuring that the hotline is shaped by the collective expertise and experience of various stakeholders who are already working hard in this space.  

“We welcome the initial funding from the Home Office to get this initiative off the ground. As part of our work to develop it, we'll be looking to make sure we develop a sustainable funding solution to ensure its longevity, ensuring that this hotline remains a steadfast resource for our officers and staff in the years to come.”

READ MORE: Long-term sustainable police funding needed, says branch chair.