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Nearly 8 in 10 police officers recently felt stressed, finds Police Federation

Wednesday, 13 February 2019 Mind

Recent research carried out by the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) has found high levels of stress and anxiety among police officers.

The survey found that almost 8 in 10 (79%) of officers say they have felt feelings of stress and anxiety within the previous 12 months and of those, 94% said these difficulties were caused or made worse by their job.

Responding to this survey, Mahbu Rahman, Blue Light Programme Manager at Mind said:

“It’s worrying but not surprising to see such high levels of poor mental health among police officers. These data reflect our own research which found stress and mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were very common among staff and volunteers from across police, fire, ambulance and search and rescue services. There’s a misconception that those working for 999 services are immune to developing mental health problems, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The challenging fast-paced nature of the job, with its unique pressures and frequent exposure to difficult incidents, actually puts officers at a greater risk of poor mental health.

“It’s so important support is made available to our hard-working 999 services. Through Mind’s Blue Light Programme we have been offering mental health support for the past few years, for example by providing counselling and training managers so they are better equipped to identify and support staff who might be struggling with their mental health. Through the Programme, we’re working hard to ensure that good practice is embedded across emergency services, and can continue into the future. We now need to see steps taken to address commonly listed causes of poor mental health including police attending potentially dangerous and traumatic situations alone. We also need to see investment in mental health services reach the frontline after years of underfunding so that fewer people end up reaching crisis point and having to call 999 because they’re feeling suicidal, self-harming or experiencing psychosis.”

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