90 days from today is Mon, 16 September 2024

Avon & Somerset Police Federation

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week

13 May 2024

Acting Chair of Avon and Somerset Police Federation, Iain Prideaux, said: “This week is one of the most important weeks in the calendar because we focus on mental health. Our own pay and morale survey identified an increase in officers finding their job “very” or “extremely” stressful at 50%, an increase in feelings of stress, low mood and anxiety at 85% and only 38% of respondents aware of the proactive services offered by the Constabulary.

“Although officers responded comparatively with national figures regarding access to PPE, only 15% of officers responded to having access to double crewing at all times. The national average is 27% and this branch is clear, double crewing must be the normal, not the exception.

“The Federation have launched #AskTwice, a campaign which encourages us to check in with our colleagues and make sure they are ok. Finding time to support one another is crucial, whether it’s a cup tea after briefing, a few minutes chat in the car or a corridor conversation, please ask, “are you alright? No really, are you alright?” Our website has resources you can call upon https://www.polfed.org/campaigns/ask-twice/, Oscar Kilo https://www.oscarkilo.org.uk/family-life/advice-mental-health and MIND https://www.mind.org.uk/news-campaigns/campaigns/blue-light-programme/ have great resources too.

“The Constabulary is striving to become fully Trauma Informed and I am working with them to promote TRiM, mental health first aiders, stress awareness toolkits, Health Assured and occupational health services.

“Don’t suffer in silence and your challenges may be covered under the Equality Act (disability) where reasonable adjustments to work can be considered. Please look at Health and Wellbeing Passports which help the Constabulary to consider adjusting your duties and functional assessment forms to capture your overall health.

“The branch is here to support you as an officer and line managers to radically improve our mental health. If you can, please register for our #Asktwice webinar here on Wednesday 15 May 10.30 – 11.15am and by asking twice, may just save a life.”