During the pandemic more people became isolated and worried and some have struggled with their mental health. It’s really important that we emerge from the epidemic with the understanding of what affects mental health, what we can do to improve it and when to get help. This campaign pulls together messages and resources that you can use in your force to educate and support officers and staff with their mental health.
We all need to recognise the signs
Emergency services workers face unique and complex challenges on a daily basis that you don’t often find in other sectors. It is crucial that we all learn to recognise when we are struggling and that we know what interventions and support packages are available.
Police officers and staff can often be reluctant to put their hand up and say “I can’t cope” – but talking about what you are experiencing when you are struggling, can often be helpful. Taking those things home at night, whether it be stress or trauma related, often isn’t the best answer for the person concerned.
It’s really important that line managers are able to recognise the issues affecting their teams – fifty per cent of a person’s wellbeing at work is determined by how well they get on with their line manager. Talk to your staff, be kind, be understanding, small things make a big difference.
Once we understand why we are feeling a certain way and identify the causes, there are lots of things we can do to improve our own mental health. We need to take time out to relax, try a breathing exercise or a mindfulness session, take up a new hobby, read a book, ring a friend, take some exercise or, just rest.
We have created some resources that you can use yourself and share with your colleagues and friends. If you are a wellbeing lead in your force, please feel free to use these to signpost to your own sources of guidance and support.