MENTAL wellbeing at work is rightly receiving a lot of attention right now. Nowhere should this be more important than in our bluelight emergency services who, by definition, are the people who deal with the public at times of crisis.
As an ex-soldier I am fully aware of the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the vital importance of early intervention and treatment. While out campaigning to be the next Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset, I have spoken to a number of police officers and asked them about the help available for their mental wellbeing. While there is some support within our police service, as a consequence of the feedback officers have given me I have made enhancing this support one of my top priorities if I succeed in being elected.
Linked to my priorities is improving the co-ordination between the police, NHS and other agencies. They all need to work collaboratively in emergencies, but also co-ordinate their activities in areas of crime such as drug abuse, domestic abuse and sexual exploitation. I’ve become concerned as I’ve met NHS staff that a number have raised with me an apparent lack of adequate provision of psychological support within the NHS. Effective policing requires effective health services and robust health service staff.
I’ve received lots of useful feedback from residents in other parts of the force area who work in the police or NHS, many of whom feel that provision for their mental wellbeing could be improved. I’m very keen to hear from residents from the whole of the area to understand just how big the problem is. Please email me at email@example.com.
Letter published in the Western Daily Press, 15th Feb 2020.