Officers Encouraged To Access Wellbeing Toolkit To Help Manage Anxiety and Stress

Hampshire Police officers have been advised to learn breathing techniques to help them manage anxiety and stress at work.

An Oscar Kilo training exercise has been designed to help soothe the parasympathetic nervous system during a busy, difficult or traumatic shift, reducing feelings of stress or overwhelm.

Hampshire Police Federation Chair Zoë Wakefield said there are a host of packages and services available to officers. Oscar Kilo, the National Police Wellbeing Service, are holding a police wellbeing at work conference on 6 March, for instance, and the website is host to a number of different programmes and ideas that could help officers better manage their mental health.

Zoë said: “Hampshire are very good at wellbeing. They offer a lot – they just need to advertise it more so that officers know what is actually available. But I think there’s lots that can be done.

“There’s something called Breath Works which our officers have access to, and there’s a couple of times during the day that you can join it online so hopefully it fits in with different people’s shifts.

“It’s all about learning breathing techniques to manage your anxiety and stress. Some people say it’s really good. It works in a similar way to yoga. I think officers have to find what works well for them. There is a lot out there, but I think more work needs to be done around making officers aware of everything that’s out there and then them being able to have the time to access it.”

Officers are struggling to find the time to access resources on shift, she warned, but that if there is a resource that could be helpful, she advised talking to a supervisor about it – as it could prevent them from going off sick.

She added: “I’d encourage all our officers to go onto the intranet and look at the wellbeing toolkit as there is just so much information and there is so much help there.”

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