HAMPSHIRE Police Federation continues to support colleagues at time when they may be dealing with more traumatic situations than usual.
Federation Chairman Alex Charge has spoken to the force to ensure supervisors are aware that officers may be attending more sudden deaths during the coronavirus pandemic.
He has asked for officers to be prepared for the situations and monitored afterwards for the long-term impact of trauma.
In April, the Federation offered mental health and wellbeing webinars for colleagues.
The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) has warned that officers are being exposed to a higher volume of traumatic incidents, flagging up one incident of an unnamed officer who responded to 15 coronavirus-related deaths in 24 hours.
National Federation Vice-Chair Ché Donald said: “It’s more than just the exposure to the deceased, it’s the exposure to grieving family members. That takes its toll.”
The PFEW has released a video on its website featuring Dr Jess Miller, Director of Research at Police Care UK, providing mental health advice for frontline officers policing the Covid-19 pandemic.
Alex said that Hampshire provided good wellbeing initiatives and resilience training for mental health, including the Trauma Risk Management (TRiM) scheme.
He added: “Also, the wellbeing initiative put forward by the force, supported by the Federation, to our Police and Crime Commissioner, included a lot of work around suicide prevention and mental health.
“I think that will be positive pre-emptive work to stop people becoming unwell. We want to get in that space where we make sure people are prepared for what they’re going into in policing. It’s much better for the individual, for the force and for the public that we prepare officers appropriately and give them coping strategies.”
There is an added anxiety among officers around the country that they risk bringing the virus back to their homes after every shift. But Alex said: “I’ve spoken to a number of officers and they feel confident there’s an appropriate level of PPE in Hampshire.”
Click here for details of some of the support offered by Hampshire Police Federation during the crisis https://www.polfed.org/hants/news/2019/hampshire-police-federation-is-sending-out-a-welfare-pack-to-help-members-cope-with-the-stress-of-covid-19/