World Mental Health Day 2020
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The past few months have been challenging for everyone. Saturday 10 October is World Mental Health Day and this year’s theme is ‘mental health for all’.
Police officers deal with mental health situations every day – working with our Mental Health Street Triage Team and partners to get help for those who need it.
But, in order to help others, we need to look after ourselves first and, here, Det Chief Supt Stuart Hooper explains how he looks at it.
“Understand your own resilience, your own internal battery. You know when it’s depleted, when to recharge it. If your internal battery empties, it takes a long time to recharge it.
“So, listen to your friends, family and colleagues when they tell you to look after yourself!”
Working for the police and other emergency services is very rewarding but it can be challenging at times, which can affect mental health. Essex Police has various ways to support our police officers, staff and volunteers should they need it.
Mr Hooper says the support he has received during his career with Essex Police has been fantastic.
“For anyone, there are periods in your life when circumstances change or, for me as a police officer, specific investigations where what we experience affects us. I have accepted support when it’s been offered and I would advise anyone to do the same. There should be no stigma in it, no judgement.”
Essex Police has a Trauma Risk Management (TRiM) team - trained volunteers who talk, in confidence, with colleagues who need support if they have been affected by an incident. They can signpost colleagues to further support, such as additional counselling, or support from external organisations, such as the MIND and Samaritans charities and the NHS.
We continue to support MIND’s Blue Light Pledge to show our commitment to supporting our police officers, staff and volunteers as they continue to respond to and deal with complex and often difficult incidents.
As well as welfare and counselling services within the force, we also run more general welfare programmes for our officers and staff. There’s Feel Well Live Well, which provides them with tools to develop their personal resilience and wellbeing, and Headway, which is an introduction to mindfulness and meditation to help reduce stress and anxiety while increasing resilience, concentration and wellbeing.
“Mental health comes in many forms and we should value difference and what it brings. For example, neurodiverse conditions provide alternative perspectives which can be very valuable, at home and at work.”
Det Chief Supt Stuart Hooper
As an inclusive employer, #WeValueDifference and we value the mental health and wellbeing of our colleagues. For more information on how you can join our policing family, visit www.essex.police.uk/fitthebill