Police - supporting a colleague with a mental health problem

A guide for staff and volunteers in the police service on how to support a colleague experiencing a mental health problem.

Your stories

What is mental health and mental wellbeing?

Taryn blogs about mental health and wellbeing. What do they mean to you?

Taryn Ozorio
Posted on 24/01/2011

How can I look after myself?

Supporting someone experiencing a mental health problem can be stressful. Making sure that you look after your own wellbeing can mean that you have the energy, time and distance to help someone else. For example:

  • Take a break when you need it. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by supporting someone or it’s taking up a lot of time or energy, taking some time for yourself can help you feel refreshed.
  • Talk to someone you trust about how you’re feeling. You may want to be careful about how much information you share about the person you’re supporting, but talking about your own feelings to a friend can help you feel supported too.
  • Be realistic about what you can do and don't take too much on. Your support is really valuable, but it’s up to your colleague to seek support for themselves. Remember that small, simple things can help, and that just being there for them is probably helping lots.

For more ideas about how to keep yourself well, see our information on how to manage your mental wellbeing.


This information was published in November 2015. We will revise it in 2018.


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