Derbyshire Police Federation

Warning over officer wellbeing

9 April 2020

The Federation’s national wellbeing lead has warned that officers could be left with a long-lasting impact on their mental health as they respond to increasing numbers of coronavirus deaths.

Belinda Goodwin said officers were doing ‘an extraordinary job’ during what she described as ‘one of the most challenging periods for both the Federation and for the police service’.

Writing in a blog, Belinda said: “As more people tragically pass away from this virus, officers are also having to respond to more deaths.

“We’re concerned about the long-lasting impact this will have on their mental wellbeing over the coming months as they are repeatedly exposed to these traumatic scenes.

“The other week an officer responded to 15 coronavirus-related deaths in just 24 hours – and he’s certainly not the only one to be dealing with such a high volume of incidents, and this volume will undoubtedly rise.”

Derbyshire Police Federation chair Tony Wetton urged officers not to suffer in silence.

Tony said: “This is an unprecedented crisis and it is having an impact on so many people in so many ways. Many officers will have their own worries about loved ones, paying the bills or even their own health, while still walking long hours and trying to carry out their duty to the very best of their ability.

“We would encourage officers to talk to someone. The Federation is working closely with the Force to ensure members’ welfare is put to the fore at all times.

“We’re doing everything we can to offer support and advice and can signpost you to organisations that can help with mental wellbeing or financial advice.

“Don’t suffer in silence,” Tony added.

Read Belinda’s blog.

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