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.”
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 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”.
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.”
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.”