15 April 2021
#StressAwarenessMonth: help is out there for officers who are struggling
April is #StressAwarenessMonth and Leicestershire Police Federation has outlined how help is out there for officers who are struggling.
Nationally, nearly 10,000 police officers took time off due to stress, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder in the past year.
PFEW’s January 2021 Demand, Capacity and Welfare Survey revealed that almost 80% of officers said they have struggled with their mental health and wellbeing over the past 12 months.
“Sadly, these numbers do not surprise me,” says Adam Commons, Chair of Leicestershire Police Federation.
“The pandemic has been hard for everyone, but my colleagues have had to cope with the demands of policing Covid at a time when assaults on police officers have seen a huge increase and media scrutiny has been a constant as we tried to enforce vague Government legislation.
“When you then consider the other factors of reduced contact with our friends and family, the stress of potentially catching Covid and you can see how it has happened.
“In Leicestershire we have dedicated Wellbeing pages which can be located on the Force Intranet which has help and information on the key areas of mental health, physical health and fitness, financial wellbeing and emotional health & resilience.
“The Federation can also help you as well, if you need to speak in confidence please make contact with a local Rep.
“You are never alone, the hardest part is realising you need help, and we can get things started with you.”
During their careers, each police officer is likely to encounter between 400 to 600 traumatic events. Most citizens will experience between three or four in their lifetime.
Officers in need of support can also see more about the Mind Blue Light Programme here https://www.mind.org.uk/news-campaigns/campaigns/blue-light-programme/
The Stress Management Society have also created a free Individual Stress Test https://www.stress.org.uk/individual-stress-test/ where individuals can receive a stress score and some personalised recommendations for managing this.