OFFICERS who are struggling with their mental health are now able to access police-specific counselling thanks to the Welfare Support Programme.
The help is provided through the Defence Medical Welfare Service, an independent charity which provides tailored support for public service and emergency workers.
Zoë Wakefield, Hampshire Police Federation Chair, said: “The programme offers extended support and counselling.
“The positive of this programme is that it is specifically police-related. I’ve heard from people in the past who have sought other kinds of support or counselling only to find they have had to explain to the person why a certain aspect of policing is stressful or they have to explain how we do things or why this has impacted on them. This is specific police welfare support so they already have that really good understanding of policing and the pressures that we’re under and the stresses that we face.
“Defence Medical Welfare have spent a lot of time, obviously, working with the armed forces so they really understand the trauma which is what we’re finding is the biggest need at the moment.”
The Welfare Support Programme, open to all subscribing Federation members, offers a wide range of welfare support including clinical assessment, counselling, person centred support, access to fully trained and accredited professionals, independent and confidential support and referrals appropriate follow-on specialist support.
PFEW Wellbeing Chair Haley Aley added: “Defence Medical Welfare Service have been professional from the outset. We are incredibly pleased with the progress so far and we can see it is already making a tangible difference to the lives of our colleagues who needed a helping hand in their time of need.”
Any officers that think they could benefit from tailored support should email the Federation office, who will help them apply.