If a serving officer or member of staff should tragically die in the execution of their duties or by suicide – this counselling service is now available to the officer or staff members’ family and their immediate colleagues.
While some forces already have great support in place, we have provided this as an option for those organisations who either do not yet have anything available or wish to build on what they already offer.
We have established this service as part of our work in delivering the Police Covenant to increase the support on offer for police officers and staff and their families. It is free of charge to forces, funded by the National Police Wellbeing Service.
This is just the first of many new resources and services that we are building to support officers, staff and their families throughout 2023.
NPWS Service Director, Andy Rhodes said: “Policing is a unique, rewarding, but challenging and sometimes dangerous job. We want to ensure that all police forces have options to provide tailored and specific support if the worst should happen.
“We have established this service with 'Just B’ as part of our ongoing commitment to delivering key elements of the Police Covenant, ensuring that all police forces have options to be able to provide more support to officers, staff, but also their families.”
More about the service and what is available
The service is provided through ‘Just B’, a specialist bereavement counselling service and it includes:
- Counselling support for all immediate family members from a qualified counsellor trained in bereavement and trauma.
- A counsellor will be allocated to each staff member, family member or bereaved family and work alongside them as they process and learn to manage their grief.
- Just ‘B’ will work with parents or carers so they feel better equipped to support children and young people understand the death and learn to express their grief.
- Practical guidance and support to allow individuals and families time to consider their ‘new normal’.
- Provision of relevant therapy or counselling.
- Signposting to charities appropriate to the situation.
- A service tailored for children and adults: support for a family group or individual 1:1 work where applicable.
- Options around peer support and network events to support families.
The above can be delivered over the phone, through online sessions or face to face.
How does it work?
If a member of staff (police officer or member of civilian staff) dies in the execution of their duty, or dies by suicide, then the force would follow their usual processes and begin to provide support for the family members of the deceased, and their immediate work colleagues.
The force, most likely through their occupational health department, would make the referral into Just B. The nominated lead from your wellbeing or occupational health team should make contact with Just B via a direct number for the police bereavement support service when officers and staff need support.
Once the contact is made with Just B by the nominated lead, a referral form will be sent through to be completed on behalf of the bereaved person.
Forces can also provide family liaison officers with the direct number so that it can be passed on to families directly for them to use if they feel they need support.
Just ‘B’ Chief Executive Tony Collins said: “We are pleased to be working in partnership with Oscar Kilo, the National Police Wellbeing Service (NPWS), to deliver essential and invaluable bereavement counselling support to police forces across England and Wales.
“Our tailored support will be there for police officers, staff and their families across the 43 police forces, ensuring it can be accessed during a time when it’s most needed following a death in service or by suicide, with our specialist support provided alongside existing structures in place.
“Through referral and, in partnership, our expert team will provide counselling support, practical guidance and signposting via a service tailored to adults and children – free at the point of need – providing a safe and confidential space to understand and express grief.”
More about ‘Just B’
Just ‘B’ is a specialist bereavement and emotional wellbeing service helping individuals, communities, and organisations. Just ‘B’ is part of a family of services provided by North Yorkshire Hospice Care, a registered charity.
Just ‘B’ has significant experience providing services to support frontline workers and emergency services, their colleagues and families. During the pandemic we were part of our Our Frontline and currently we help a number of emergency services across the country to support the mental health and wellbeing of staff and their families.
Find out more at www.justb.org.uk