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Force backs Mental Health Awareness Week

13 May 2019

Awareness of mental health is always high on the agenda for Bedfordshire Police, not least because officers encounter vulnerable people on an almost daily basis, but also because the force believes that all of its staff and officers need to be aware of their own vulnerabilities.

According to Mind, the mental health charity, one in four people is likely to experience a mental health problem. The research also shows that 9 out of 10 of those working in the emergency services are likely to experience stress, low mood or poor mental health at some point whilst at work, but are less likely to seek support or have time off sick than those in other professions.

During this national Mental Health Awareness Week, the force will be holding a number of events for officers and staff to highlight the breadth of support that is available.

From cinema sessions and open discussions, informal tea and chat, and talks on mindfulness and how to achieve better sleep.

Superintendent Jaki Whittred, the force lead for mental health, says: “We all need to be more open about our mental health, to ensure the stigma and myths surrounding it are dispelled.

“The force has invested a lot into a support network for our staff and officers that encompasses every aspect of mental health, such as tailored trauma management, a force-wide network of wellbeing champions, and even a dedicated phone app that discusses symptoms of the most common mental issues a person can face with signposting to 24-hour support.

“Mental health is everyone’s business, and this week we will be getting together to remind everyone that it’s OK not to be OK, and to start conversations that can change, or even save lives.”

 

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