South Wales Police Federation chair Steve Treharne has welcomed the introduction of a Mind toolkit designed to support police officers with their mental health during the ongoing pandemic.
The toolkit, launched through the charity’s Blue Light Programme, has been tailor-made for emergency service workers, to provide them with continuous high quality mental health support and information throughout the coronavirus crisis and beyond.
Mind research has shown that two thirds of police staff believe their mental health had got worse – and in many cases, much worse – since the start of the pandemic.
In addition to the new demands of the job, two thirds of police said they were concerned about passing coronavirus on to their friends and family, and 42 per cent said their mental health was affected by news and media coverage. A third of emergency services staff told Mind they didn’t look for help because they didn’t think their issues were serious enough.
“It’s crucial that we listen to our officers at all times but particularly when such a large proportion are feeling that their mental health has been impacted upon by the pandemic. These results highlight just how important it is to raise awareness of mental health and to encourage officers to reach out if they are struggling,” said Steve.
“It’s been a challenging year for everybody, so it comes as no surprise that some officers are feeling the pressure. Policing can be difficult during normal times, let alone when we’re facing a pandemic.
“I hope that all of our members know that they can come to the Federation if they ever need our support and, looking forward, embrace the Blue Light Programme and what it stands for.”
The new toolkit will help police officers manage their mental health, take care of themselves and also encourage them to reach out to family, friends and colleagues who might be struggling.
Building on Mind’s existing support for emergency service workers, it will evolve based on feedback from the police community, and the charity will be adding new resources and sources of help when they become available throughout the year.
The toolkit and more information on the Blue Light Programme, along with advice and support, is now available on the Mind website.