“If you are struggling with your mental wellbeing, please take that first step and come forward to your Federation… we will help you.”
April was #StressAwarenessMonth and Chairman Brian Booth has outlined how help is out there for officers who are struggling.
Nationally, nearly 10,000 police officers took time off due to stress, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder in the past year.
PFEW’s January 2021 Demand, Capacity and Welfare Survey revealed that almost 80% of officers said they have struggled with their mental health and wellbeing over the past 12 months.
Brian said these figures raise a red flag about the pressure police officers are under. He explained: “This has not been made easy with the lack of support in relation to the vaccine roll out and civil disorder at events whereby senior figures in society have openly criticised policing.
“Ultimately, they have been proved wrong, yet remain steadfast with their lack of apology and acceptance of the fact. This undermines policing and has an impact on how officers feel about remaining within the service.
“Throughout the pandemic we have retained online counselling services within West Yorkshire to try and combat these outside factors and be that safe pair of hands that officers need in bad times. We have also made Covid-secure plans to return to face to face sessions, following the Government’s unlocking roadmap.
“We will never remove stress from policing, but what we can do is help officers understand how to manage it and we work closely with some great resources that will help this long term aim. One being the new mental wellbeing wing being built at the Police Treatment Centres and another being the Welfare Support Programme being funded by PFEW.
“My key message is if you are struggling with your mental wellbeing, please take that first step and come forward to your Federation, we are a safe pair of hands and we will help you.”
West Yorkshire Police Federation Wellbeing Lead Aaron Horsfall highlighted the many ways that officers can receive help via the Federation.
He said: “We the Federation have a plethora of ways we can assist – from the independent counselling service that we run from the office, to the physios that assist with the low level bumps and bruises. We are here to help or signpost you to the relevant place.
“We also have the new national Welfare Support Programme, which provides invaluable support to members throughout England and Wales. The service is provided by Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS) and is available to all subscribing PFEW members from Monday to Friday 9am to 7pm. If you are a subscribing PFEW member and would like more information please contact us at your local branch.
“And If you are a member of the Group Insurance Scheme you will know that Support 24 is a welcomed addition, which provides telephone counselling with the offer of further signposting and treatment if required.
“Please don’t suffer in silence, step forward and ask for help, we will do our best to help you get the right support.”
Date posted: May 9, 2021