Dyfed Powys Police Federation wellbeing lead Dai Gaskins has welcomed a new Mind toolkit created to support police officers with their mental health during the ongoing pandemic.
Launched by the leading mental health charity under its Blue Light Programme, the toolkit will aim to provide high quality support and information for police officers and staff as well as other emergency workers.
It has been launched after Mind research showed that 66 per cent of police officers felt their mental health had got worse – and in many cases much worse - during the coronavirus crisis.
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.
“I’m saddened to hear that so many officers are struggling with their mental health but I can’t say I’m surprised,” said Dai, “It’s been a hugely challenging year for everyone, especially those on the frontline. They have been putting their own health at risk every day to protect the public while trying to adapt to changes to lockdown guidance, often at short notice, and while dealing with their own personal circumstances, such as home schooling and caring for elderly or vulnerable relatives.
“Hopefully, having a programme created specifically with emergency workers in mind will ensure officers are receiving the support they need.
“It’s important that officers know that the Federation is here if they ever need our support. The wellbeing and mental health of our members is an absolute priority.”
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 from 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.