Mental health masterclass

Every year, South Wales Police recognise World Mental Health Day with a mental health masterclass. This has traditionally been a conference style event, with guest speakers and interactive table top exercises. Aimed at supervisors, it is also supported by our blue light champions and health and wellbeing SPOCs.

How it works

Prior to 2020, this event would be a conference-style seminar with guest speakers and table top engagement for around 100 attendees. The focus of the day would depend on emerging themes and issues from engagement with supervisors around mental health and absence management issues.  

Traditionally they would take the format of a chief officer introduction, an input from occupational health on wellbeing services, and an overview of trends by our in-house mental health nurse. Guest speakers are also invited and we have had inputs from John Sutherland, State of Mind, and other leaders in mental health. The afternoon sessions involve round table discussions and case studies of anonymised mental health cases. With the help of trained facilitators and HR business partners, supervisors are encouraged to discuss how they would manage these cases, highlighting key interventions and support.

In 2020, we adapted the format for a virtual event that ran throughout the week rather than on a single day. We developed a series of inputs by guest speakers and our in house counsellors, with two sessions a day run live time with recordings archived on our wellbeing portal. These sessions included key issues such as PTSD/suicide, managing mental health remotely, grief & bereavement, emotional burnout and care first.

Top Tips for Implementation

Tip 1
Create an agenda led by emerging trends and issues highlighted by supervisors.
Tip 2
Use the opportunity for occupational health and HR to promote existing services.
Tip 3
Ensure plenty of engagement opportunities to enable practical exercises and feedback.
Budget required


Ease of implementation


Impact on Investigators


Link to Resources

Care first awareness presentation 
Download presentation
Supporting staff at work - guide for line managers
Download guide
Alcohol substance misuse
Mental health masterclass, compassionate conversations
Personal resilience by Sian Willis