Mental health issues plaguing police officers

A long shot of the Leeds General Police Station.Mental health has been an ongoing issue for the police force.

Leeds charities supporting officers in bid to raise awareness over their mental health

Studies have shown that police officers are taking up to 35% more time off work due to mental health related issues.

Leeds based PC Rebecca Hurrell said: “It’s one of the most stressful times of the year due to the misuse of fireworks.

“De-stressing within the police is something that’s done within the police family. We speak to each other and try to make light of situations in order to provide support. If other support is needed there’s a wide variety of different ways in which you can source it within the police family.”

The side of a police car parked in a police parking spot.
Gemma Ryles Studies have shown that mental well-being can be affected by repeated exposure to traumatic events, which the police undergo daily.

For national stress awareness day, the charity, Police Care UK, has been developing new materials to give advice on specific help topics and subjects.

Communications officer, Sarah Park said: “We provide support year-round to all those who have suffered harm as a result of their policing role.

“This includes in-the-moment telephone support with trained counsellors who can provide assistance on a number of topics ranging from difficult incidents, debt, bereavement, relationships and stress.”

A noticeboard filled with positive affirmations and contact information for mental health charities.
Gemma Ryles Stress in the workplace is on the rise and linked to a distinct increase in both presentiment and leaveism.

A recent study suggested that the rate of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was five times higher in police officers than the general population. Police Care are providing “grants and funding to enable officers to undertake their own well-being initiatives for their own staff”.

A police car and a police van parked outside the police station.
Gemma Ryles “Obviously the budget cuts aren’t helping to lower our stress levels,” says PC Rebecca Hurrell when asked about factors that cause the police undue pressure.

The charity, Workplace Wellbeing, is also promoting the “work life balance” of police officers.

Director Emma Frost said: “In 2018 alone 12.8 million work days were lost across the UK economy as a direct result of work-related stress, anxiety or depression.

“That’s why it’s vital that employers recognise the importance of promoting well-being in the workplace.”

The front of the store of Mind in Leeds.
Gemma Ryles Studies have shown that working in macho environments discourages police officers from seeking help for mental issues.

Training team leader at Mind, Rosana Rategh, said: “At Leeds Mind we have a range of services. Our services have a referral route and we promote our work around the city.”

A volunteer from Leeds, Jane Taylor, said: “It’s very important to focus on mental health within the police force because they’re faced with so much responsibility and they shouldn’t have to face that alone.”

A charity bin for Mind.
Gemma Ryles Statistics from Mind have shown that 91% of police have experienced stress and poor mental health at work.

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