Derbyshire Police Federation

'Officers are not immune to mental health' says wellbeing lead

13 October 2023

Mental health problems can affect anyone says Derbyshire Police Federation wellbeing lead Helen Gallear.

Her comments come the same week as World Mental Health Day (Tuesday 10 October), with Helen encouraging members not to suffer in silence if they’re experiencing poor wellbeing.

“Mental health issues can happen to anyone,” Helen said. “They can have a wide range of causes such as bereavement, money worries, experiencing a traumatic incident, or it may be a combination of factors.

“Police officers certainly aren’t immune to it - in fact, far from it. Together, we need to stop the stigma surrounding mental health, especially within the Force. 

“Often we know our colleagues better than anyone - and can tell if they seem low or are struggling with things. 

“It really is good to talk. Talking to our colleagues can be a good source of support through a stressful period.

“It can help you work through what’s happening, help you feel better able to cope, and make you realise that you’re not alone.”

Helen once again shined a light on the Federation’s Hear ‘Man Up’, Think ‘Man Down’ campaign, which aims to encourage officers to take each other’s mental wellbeing as seriously as their physical safety.

She added: “To help mark this year's World Mental Health Day we’re reminding members of the campaign and encouraging them to look out for each other and to provide a listening ear.”

The Force has also introduced a number of on-site wellbeing rooms that both police officers and staff can use if they want to talk to someone or take some time out.


Helen has put together some tips for starting a conversation:

  • Choose someone you trust or are comfortable talking to
  • Think about the best time and place to talk
  • Practice what you want to say
  • Try to be honest and open
  • Prepare yourself for their reaction

Helen has also put some tips together on how to be a good listener:

  • Find a place to talk without distractions
  • Make eye contact and put away your phone
  • Listen and use open questions that require more than a yes/no answer
  • Remember, pauses are okay - you don’t always have to fill them
  • Try not to give your view
  • And ask how you can help

If you feel that you are struggling with your mental health or are worried about a colleague then get in touch with your local Federation representative.

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