New set of uniform standards for mental health must be more than a wish list

A NEW set of uniform standards that has been set up to help protect police officers’ mental health “must be more than a wish list”, Hampshire Police Federation has said.

The Royal Foundation’s Emergency Services Mental Health Symposium saw 200 leaders from across fire, ambulance, police, and search and rescue from all four nations come together for the first time to address the mental health of their workforces, this month.

National Police Chiefs’ Council Chair Martin Hewitt signed the “Mental Health at Work Commitment”, endorsing six standards, including declaring mental health is, and will remain, a strategic priority, and encouraging forces to promote an open culture around mental health.

Hampshire Police Federation welcomed the move, but said it should not allow Hampshire to drop its existing high standards around mental wellbeing.

It is now time for chiefs “to put their money where their mouth is” Hampshire Police Federation added.

The Federation said: “My only concern is that this a bit like a wish list. It’s a bit like the seven-point plan for the assaults in Operation Hampshire, in that it is perhaps good practice and they sign, but I guess the proof’s in the pudding.

“Chiefs need to put their money where their mouth is and follow through with their pledge. It’s okay making a pledge but they have to see it through now. We’re lucky in Hampshire; we’ve fairly good mental health and we’ve got various staff and officers in place to support officers with their mental wellbeing. We’ve got a good system going at Occupational Health so I think we’re at the better end of the scale. We’re doing a good job in Hampshire compared to many other forces across the country. I just don’t even want us to slip down to anybody else’s level and I hope the standard is not something that’s below ours that we can drop down to.”

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