1 April 2021
In her role as PFEW's Wellbeing lead, Belinda Goodwin has taken the opportunity to introduce Stress Awareness Month to members in a short video message. The inspirational event will hand colleagues the opportunity to increase awareness around the causes of stress and is intended to highlight the support available to combat the debilitating illness.
The theme for Stress Awareness Month this year is ‘Regaining Connection, Certainty and Control. Findings from PFEW’s January 2021 Demand, capacity & welfare (polfed.org) survey revealed that almost 80% of officers have struggled with their mental health and wellbeing over the past 12 months. We can’t remove stress in policing, but we can talk about it more and do more to help one another.
Throughout the month of April, we have been sharing some tips on managing stress, avenues that members could explore to seek help, and real stories from officers who have experienced stress.
In a two part blog series, PC Claire Bond has shared her story of how an assault on duty led to years of physical and emotional stress and the support that she received to help her deal with this difficult time in her life.
Sergeant Adam Bryan has also spoken out about how he turned to alcohol to combat the stress, in the hope that by sharing his story and some of the signs to look for, it will inspire others to reach out for help.
We have also shared information on the different services that both the Police Treatment Centre and Flint House offer to members to manage any physical, emotional or mental stresses that they may be experiencing.
The Stress Management Society have also created a free Individual Stress Test - The Stress Management Society where individuals can receive a stress score and some personalised recommendations for managing this.
Some stress can be good for us. But when it stops being good for you, that’s when members need to reach out. Remember, there is help out there for everyone. If you feel you are experiencing stress and you need to chat with someone, the first port of call is your local branch - where one of our local Reps can confidentially advise you on the best way forward.