Gwent Police Federation wellbeing lead Annalea Kift has welcomed the launch of a new online toolkit tailored to support police officers with their mental health during the ongoing pandemic.
Created by national charity Mind under its Blue Light Programme, the toolkit has been designed specifically for emergency service workers to provide them with high quality mental health support and information throughout the coronavirus crisis and beyond.
The programme was prompted by the results of study by Mind which showed that 66 per cent of officers who took part felt that their mental health has deteriorated as a result of the pandemic.
Besides the new demands of the job, two thirds said they were concerned about passing coronavirus on to their friends and family, and 42 per cent said their mental health was affected by news and media coverage.
“It comes as no surprise that officers are struggling with their mental health, especially after the year we’ve experienced,” said Annalea.
“Policing can be difficult during normal times but over the past 12 months our frontline officers have had to put their own health at risk to protect the public on a daily basis. They have had to adapt to changes to Government lockdown guidance, often at very short notice, and seemed to have been criticised time and time again in the media despite their best efforts to rise to what has been an unprecedented crisis in our lifetimes. It’s time they took care of themselves too.
“The wellbeing and mental health of our members is an absolute priority and it’s important that they know the Federation is always here if they ever need our support,” added Annalea.
The new toolkit will help police officers manage their mental health, take care of themselves and also encourage them to reach out to family, friends and colleagues who might be struggling.
It will run for one year up until February 2022 and will build on Mind’s existing support for emergency service workers. The toolkit will evolve based on feedback from the police community, and Mind be adding new resources and sources of help when they become available throughout the year.
The toolkit and more information on the Blue Light Programme, along with advice and support, is now available on the Mind website.