10 May 2023
Derbyshire Police Federation members and their families will now be able to access free bereavement support following the death of an officer, killed in the line of duty or by suicide.
The bereavement counselling service will be provided to members and relatives thanks to a new partnership between Oscar Kilo, the National Police Wellbeing Service, and bereavement support organisation Just ‘B’.
Derbyshire Police Federation chair Tony Wetton has welcomed the initiative, which is being entirely funded by Oscar Kilo and is designed for those who do not have support in place, or as an addition to it.
“Thankfully, it is very rare for us to lose someone at work. That said, having vital support in place for our members and their families in the event that a colleague, a friend or a loved one dies is essential,” said Tony.
“I think it’s a common misconception that because we’re in the police force, we are indestructible and that we all come with an ability to cope with death, whatever the circumstances. But, at the end of the day, we’re all still human. We all still have our own emotions and there will be times when additional support proves vital.”
The service will be provided through specialist bereavement service Just ‘B’, which will be able to allocate a counsellor to each person, providing either group or one-to-one support, to help manage their grief.
Just ‘B’ provides expert emotional wellbeing and bereavement support, as well as information and advice to a range of individuals, including professionals experiencing any type of bereavement.
A referral will most likely be made by the Force’s occupational health or wellbeing team, following the usual process that is involved when a police officer or member of staff dies in the line of duty or by suicide.
“While policing comes with many rewards, it also presents us with a lot of challenges too. As a Federation, we have a duty to prioritise the wellbeing of our members, which is why tailored support like this is particularly important,” added Tony.
The partnership demonstrates the ongoing commitment being made by Oscar Kilo to deliver the Police Covenant, by ensuring that all police forces have options to provide more support to officers and staff, as well as their families.
Just ‘B’ chief executive Tony Collins said: “Our tailored support will be there for police officers, staff and their families across the 43 police forces, ensuring it can be accessed during a time when it’s most needed following a death in service or by suicide, with our specialist support provided alongside existing structures in place.”
If you feel you need extra bereavement or wellbeing support then please speak to your line manager or contact the Federation.