11 May 2022
#MentalHealthAwarenessWeek: “Much has been done but much more can still be done… We all have a responsibility to recognise the symptoms when someone is suffering”
To mark #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek, Cumbria Police Federation Chair Paul Williams discusses the challenges facing Police Officers.
Paul states: “Mental health has never been more important in policing and its vitally important that work continues in educating forces responsibility in addressing the issue.
“Much has been done but much more can still be done. I want to see forces recognise that mental health issues in policing is an injury as a result of policing and take responsibility for this.
“Mental illness is a slow and silent killer and I have seen some tragic cases of the lifelong and sometimes life ending effects some of our members have suffered. Just because you can’t see a mental illness as you would a physical one people still find it hard to recognise and once a cop is broken there’s no going back.
“We all have a responsibility to recognise the symptoms when someone is suffering.
“The Federation do a lot and have access to many areas of help. Our Police Treatment Centres and The Ben Fund have made vast investments in wellbeing and mental health treatment.
“We also work in conjunction with our Force to assist where we can by securing access to counselling but more work needs to be invested because this is here to stay and the problem will get much worse if we don’t continue to drive this forward.
“I am seeing members talk more openly about how things affect them and how they begin to struggle which is positive and we have access to help. We have to address this early and be pro active not reactive. It’s down to each and every one of us to contribute and each and every Chief Constable to buy in because if our workforce breaks policing will fail.”