17 May 2023
Derbyshire Police Federation wellbeing lead Helen Gallear is encouraging members to use Mental Health Awareness Week as an opportunity to think about their wellbeing.
Mental Health Awareness Week runs until 21 May, and this year’s theme is anxiety.
Anxiety is the UK’s most common mental health issue. Figures released by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy for Mental Health Awareness Week revealed that 49 per cent of people in the UK have experienced anxiety in the past five years.
Meanwhile, Derbyshire Police’s Pay and Morale Survey found that 86 per cent of respondents had experienced feelings of stress, low mood, anxiety or other difficulties with their health and wellbeing in the past 12 months. This was up from 79 per cent in 2020 and was higher than the national figure of 82 per cent.
Helen said: “We all feel anxious from time to time. It’s a normal reaction to uncertainty, or difficult and testing situations.
“However, it’s important we recognise these feelings and take steps to respond to them so that it doesn’t become overwhelming.
“Mental Health Awareness Week is a perfect opportunity to take a breath and think about our own wellbeing, and that of our colleagues as well.”
Mental Health Awareness Week aims to increase awareness and understanding of anxiety. It’s a chance to talk about mental health with colleagues, and focus on providing help and support.
Anxiety is a feeling of stress, panic, worry or fear, which can be mild or severe. Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life, you may feel worried and anxious about having a medical test or moving house. During times like these, feeling anxious is perfectly normal.
But if feelings of anxiety are affecting your daily life you might want to speak to your GP or a qualified and registered counsellor who can provide a safe and confidential space, and help you understand what’s causing your anxiety.
Police Mutual, which provides financial services and welfare support to the police service, has produced a free fact sheet for Mental Health Awareness Week which offers tips on coping with anxiety. It also includes signposts to support.
Helen said: “This free booklet is full of information and advice on how to do that so that we can recognise feelings of anxiety and take steps to address them.”
Download the free Mental Health Awareness Week booklet now.