90 days from today is Fri, 09 October 2020
11 March 2020
Officers’ mental health needs to be treated as seriously as their physical wellbeing, according to the chair of West Midlands Police Federation.
But Jon Nott says officers also have to play their part in ensuring colleagues get support when they need it by not ignoring signs of mental ill health and talking to each other more.
Jon was speaking as the Police Federation of England and Wales launched a wellbeing campaign encouraging members to talk about their mental health.
The Hear ‘Man Up’, Think ‘Man Down’ campaign was launched to coincide with national Time To Talk Day in the first week of February.
Jon explains: “In the police service, we give out protective clothing and equipment and put officers through training courses, all aimed at preventing physical injuries but, all too often, we ignore officers’ mental health and wellbeing so it’s time to change that. We have to end the stigma surrounding mental ill-health.
“Through this campaign, the Federation wants to urge officers to look out for each other, to recognise the signs that someone may be struggling with their mental health and to open up conversations about that.
“There are a lot of organisations – including the Police Federation – that can offer support and we just need to ensure that people get the support they need.
“Policing can be challenging, officers are dealing with traumatic incidents on a daily basis and with increased workloads due to police cuts it’s no surprise that they are feeling the strain. While those suffering from mental health issues may be the last to realise they need help, those closest to them can usually pick up the signs and that is what this campaign is all about – spotting these signs, talking and encouraging people to seek help.”
In addition to encouraging officers to talk, the campaign will aim to raise awareness of what signs to look out for and where officers can get help if they need it.
Belinda Goodwin, the Federation’s national wellbeing lead, said: “It’s about joining up the wealth of Federation support available locally and nationally.”
Officers are being encouraged to support the campaign and to help promote the message that it’s OK to talk. Join in the campaign on social media using the hashtags #ManUpManDown and #PoliceWelfare.