Nearly 400 officers in West Yorkshire had to take time off with stress, PTSD or anxiety last year, a new report has revealed.
Worrying as those figures are, West Yorkshire Police Federation Chairman Brian Booth said he was pleased the officers had come forward and talked about their symptoms.
Nationally more than 10,000 police officers had to be away from their duties to deal with poor mental health symptoms.
“Initially, these figures look worrying, and there are many officers who have come forward and have had to be off work with stress,” Brian said.
“In many ways, we need to see it as a good thing. It means there has been some intervention in these cases.
“The worst place we can be is when officers don’t, or feel they can’t, come forward and talk, and end up taking their lives. We can help, and we can support before it comes to that.”
Brian said it’s all about generating a working atmosphere where people can feel confident in coming forward to get the help they need.
“More people are coming forward, and people are talking about their symptoms and how they are feeling,” he said.
“Certainly, as a Federation, we advertise and talk about the services we can provide; we have early intervention strategists, we can provide and signpost officers to counselling, and we have the Blue Light Foundation, who have really helped some of our officers with their PTSD.”
Sharing the figures will also help other officers see that they will be supported if they talk about their symptoms, Brian added.
“The figure is 391 people who have been helped,” he said. “If they can influence just one other person to come forward and seek support, then that’s positive.
“There are many ways we can help you, so if you are feeling you need support, please step forward; we are here for you.”
Date posted: November 7, 2020