OFFICERS must ensure they take the time to look after their mental health as they police during the pandemic, Hampshire Police Federation has warned.
Police officers are experiencing pressure at work against the backdrop of attending more sudden deaths than ever – a combination that can take its toll, Zoe Wakefield, Federation Chair has warned.
Zoe said: “Police officers are often very selfless people. They’ve got that enormous sense of public duty and the pandemic is what they were born to do. Even though they know it’s damaging to their mental health, they want to do their part, they want to help. But they need to make sure they do take that time out for themselves.
“We’ve all seen on the news how horrendous it is in some of the intensive care units. We’ve got police officers that are going to a lot of these sudden deaths, sometimes multiple sudden deaths every day. It’s going to take its toll.”
Officers need to ensure they find time to rest and recuperate, make sure they take their rest days, and seek help if they find they are struggling, Zoe said.
She added: “We have got measures in place to prevent people working excess overtime so hopefully they are having their rest days and getting that time off. But there is a lot of support from the Federation.
“If they contact us then we can make sure that they’ve got access to counselling. Or if they just want to pick up the phone and talk to somebody, then we can do that. Even if they want to keep going through the pandemic, when they eventually do stop, when this does hopefully come to an end, then that support will still be there, and we can still help them.”