23 March 2020
Derbyshire Police Federation chair Tony Wetton says he is fully supportive of the Force’s plans to put together a wellbeing plan for its officers and staff, and believes it is even more important due to the coronavirus crisis.
The initiative is being led by DCC Rachel Swann and is a reaction to the mental and physical stresses that officers have been put under in recent years.
“Derbyshire Police Federation had already made wellbeing its main focus for 2020,” said Tony, who sits on the Force’s Wellbeing Board. “It should be at the heart of everything we do and we are going to ensure that is the case, particularly given the additional pressures officers – and staff – are going to be under due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“Everyone agrees we should have wellbeing plans in place and I am determined that we are walking the walk not just talking the talk.”
Tony explained that while there has been a tendency to focus on mental and physical welfare, the parties involved in creating the plan were determined to place equal importance on the financial aspects of officers’ wellbeing too.
“Last year’s pay and morale survey revealed that 40 per cent of Derbyshire officers are worrying about their finances,” Tony added.
“Almost three quarters of them said they were worse off financially than they were five years ago with some of them saying they struggled to have enough money to cover essentials.
“As a result, we will be working with a number of our member service providers to ensure members have access to financial advice and support should they need it.
“I think this is particularly important given the financial pressures everyone is going to be facing in the coming year.”
The wellbeing plan will be split up into a number of specific areas of focus: financial wellbeing, stress management, mental health resilience and awareness training, psychological risk management and screening and trauma and disaster management as well as health and wellbeing promotion campaigns.
Each one will have an objective and activities to support those goals which will take place during each of the three years the plan will cover.
The over-arching aim of the long-term plan will be to equip officers and staff to identify issues affecting their wellbeing and how to deal with these, help prevent issues and direct greater support to those who most need it.
The Force is changing providers for its Employee Assistance Programme to Health Assured. They will be contactable on a 24-hour basis by telephone, computer portal or app. Look out for updates on Connect.