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Wiltshire Police Federation

Helpline provides support for police officers during coronavirus crisis

14 April 2020

Polfed News

A 24-7 helpline for police is continuing to provide support, advice and a sympathetic ear as officers respond to the coronavirus crisis.

The Police Federation’s National Board doubled funding to the Welfare Support Programme (WSP) earlier this year and the service is really proving its worth during the current unprecedented situation.

It is staffed day and night by professionals trained in police discipline, an awareness of Post Incident Procedures and mental health first aid. Officers or close family can be referred to the service by a Federation rep and, if needed, given access to counsellors and coaches.

Steve Hartshorn, PFEW National Board member and Ops Policing lead said: "I’m pleased to confirm that the WSP is running normally during this time. If anything, it’s more needed than ever. We’re seeing officers exposed to more deaths, particularly around Covid-19, and the stress of increased hours and staffing other reliefs, as colleagues are taken ill or self-isolate as a precaution.

"Police officers are human just like everyone else and when you are going through added stress at work and you’re unable to see your nearest and dearest it can be tough. Not to mention if your household has lost income due to a partner’s work drying up."

Steve called the WSP an "enormously important resource" for members throughout the UK. He added: "To have access to trained professionals who can listen and provide non-judgemental, objective advice can be a lifeline – and in fact the service has already saved several lives. That’s why the Federation has put serious financial resources behind it."

Officers can access the programme by speaking to their rep or local Federation Branch about referring them. It also exists to provide support services to Federation reps as well.