24 February 2021
The chair of Derbyshire Police Federation says the emotional impact of the coronavirus pandemic cannot be underestimated and that officers should not suffer in silence with poor mental health.
Tony Wetton wants to remind police officers and staff of the Mind Blue Light Programme which has responded to the effect of the pandemic on frontline workers by offering specialist support and advice.
Mind has also worked in partnership with Shout, the Samaritans, Hospice UK and The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to develop easily accessible Frontline webpages and an Infoline offering a range of tailored mental health information, tips and tools.
“The mental and emotional impact of this pandemic can never be underestimated,” said Tony, “Our members, along with other emergency workers, have been on the frontline of the nation’s response to Covid-19 and continued to provide a service in extremely difficult circumstances which none of us could have foreseen.
“Many people will be suffering with mental health issues now or could do so in the future and police officers are not immune so now, more than ever, we need them to know there is support available and there’s no shame in asking for help.”
The Blue Light Programme was set up by Mind in 2015 to offer unique round-the-clock advice and support for frontline workers and emergency responders. It campaigns to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.
This month’s Time to Talk Day, with its theme of “The Power of Small”, promoted the idea that simply talking with someone about how you feel can help. Mind has also conducted a Blue Light survey earlier this year and will publish the results in April when the first coronavirus-specific support resource will be launched.
Tony added: “Emergency workers have always faced a challenging role and are more at risk of experiencing a mental health problem than the rest of the population. Yet they are less likely to seek support. It has been a tough year and our officers continue to be put under enormous pressure so they are feeling exhausted.
“It’s imperative that they seek support, particularly when it has been made so easy for them to do so.”
Please use the links provided to access support or contact your Federation representative in confidence.