Mental wellbeing: support is available

The chair of Gwent Police Federation says the emotional impact of the coronavirus pandemic cannot be underestimated and that officers should not suffer in silence with poor mental health.

Steve Thorpe wants to remind police officers and staff of the Mind Blue Light Programme which offers emergency service personnel specialist support and advice.

Mind has also worked in partnership with Shout, the Samaritans, Hospice UK and The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to develop easily accessible Frontline webpages and an Infoline offering a range of tailored mental health information, tips and tools.

“I believe we have yet to see the huge long-term impact this pandemic will have on people’s mental health, and I don’t think that can be over-estimated,” said Steve, “Our members have continued to provide a service during what has been an extremely challenging year and that is going to affect many of them at some point if it hasn’t already.

“They need to know that help is available and recognise that there is no shame in seeking support.”

The Blue Light Programme was set up by Mind in 2015 to offer unique round-the-clock advice and support for frontline workers and emergency responders. It campaigns to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.

This month’s Time to Talk Day, with its theme of “The Power of Small” promoted the idea that simply talking with someone about how you feel can help. Mind has also conducted a Blue Light survey earlier this year and will publish the results in April when the first coronavirus-specific support resource will be launched. 

Steve added: “Police and other emergency workers are more at risk of experiencing a mental health problem than the rest of the population yet they are less likely to seek support. They have been under immense pressure and need to remember to take care of themselves.”

Please use the links provided to access support or contact your Federation representative in confidence.