Police Federation

Mental Health: What is the true value the Government places on policing?

5 August 2022

As the findings from the pay review body are made public with some stark submissions on mental health, our Wellbeing Lead Belinda Goodwin delves into what more must be done from proactive support to funding. 


Policing is a job like no other and we cannot compare policing to any other occupation throughout the world. 

In its recent review, the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) compared policing to other public sector workers, but we are everything and more. Policing is not just enforcing and upholding the law, we are first aid responders trained to give CPR, we are there to help the most vulnerable in their time of need, we have run into burning buildings and put ourselves in more life and death situations to protect the public.  

The Chief Police Officers’ Staff Association (CPOSA) reflected that policing was a stressful career in which officers regularly saw and dealt with traumatic incidents, which could have a negative effect on their mental health. 

It also shockingly highlighted the number of officers the service lost through suicide, which was higher than the number of officers who died whilst on duty. 

The PRRB is acutely aware of the job officers do seeing as it has included these stark findings in its report, showing us the Government is well and truly alive to the concerns.  

With all this compelling information provided to the PRRB, it begs the question, what is the true value the Government places on policing? If our police officers are not physically and mentally supported this reflects on the delivery of our service to members of the public.  

We continue to work closely with police chiefs and decision makers to press for a proactive approach to be taken in order for officers to be able to get the help they need before they require it. Forces need to really focus on preventative support before our police officers reach breaking point. 

Chief officers also need to prioritise officer welfare before operational needs. They must realise officers on the frontline are their assets; they are the people they need to look after, and they need to invest in them so they can work in a safe and a comfortable environment where they feel supported. In turn we will see a happier, healthier workforce who can carry out their duties to a standard they are proud of and protect the public they serve. 

Last but certainly not least, it is vital we address financial wellbeing of our officers, who are struggling to make ends meet and are having to rely on foodbanks and food vouchers just to get by. How is that acceptable? Our Pay and Morale Survey found out more than one in 10 officers are unable to cover their monthly essentials. This adds just even more pressure onto officers who are already juggling a very stressful job and ultimately impacts their mental health with feelings of worry, anxiety, and sleepless nights. 

More effort is going in to supporting officers through initiatives such as the National Police Wellbeing Service and the Police Covenant, but forces can do better with long-term, sustainable funding from the Government. 

We also want to offer practical advice and support on all areas of finance, from debt to savings. We have partnered with Police Mutual to produce regular guides, which will be added to this page, to help you manage your money.

Need help now? 

If you need help for a mental health crisis or emergency, you should get immediate expert advice and assessment through the NHS urgent mental health helplines. 

But if you feel your life is in immediate danger, call 999 for an ambulance or go straight to A&E. 

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