HAMPSHIRE Police Federation is committed to growing its wellbeing programme, offering support to any members who are struggling.
Federation Secretary Garry Smith (pictured) said it was working together with the force to provide a variety of options to help officers’ wellbeing and that it had received extremely positive feedback.
The Federation’s new welfare van gives officers respite from busy events and crime scenes, where they can take a break, grab some food and drink, shelter from the elements and use the toilet.
Garry said: “This is a resource that can be used at, say, 3 o’clock in the morning, in the middle of the New Forest, or wherever it may be.”
Garry also said that the two welfare cottages had been well-received. “The cottages in the New Forest are used for welfare breaks for people that are on hard times or struggling with their mental or physical wellbeing. They can access these through our Fed reps.”
Members can also get help through the Group Insurance Scheme, including counselling and second-opinion expert doctors. There’s also the GP Care On Demand scheme, which gives users access to a doctor within 10 minutes, either online, or face-to-face via Skype or WhatsApp.
The Federation started offering floatation therapy last year to officers with PTSD, anxiety or muscular skeletal issues. Garry said: “It’s depriving the senses and forcing people to relax and reduce their stress in the short term.
“We’ve had really positive feedback from the 20 or so we’ve put through: for the following hours and days they’ve been less anxious, less stressed. And one person with muscular skeletal issues has now been pain-free for a period of time, which has been quite amazing.”
Garry said the Federation wanted to lead the way in wellbeing. “At the end of the day we’re here to help our members, whether it’s with performance conduct, ill health, retirement or wellbeing. These bits and pieces help us to support them while everything else is going on.”
If you want to discuss any wellbeing issues, speak to your Federation rep.