Published on 9th March 2020

Police officers and staff in Cheshire are being offered an increased level of occupational health services and care thanks to plans by the county’s police and crime commissioner and chief constable.

PCC David Keane and CC Darren Martland have made it their priority to set aside funding to provide support which focuses on officer, PCSO and staff health and wellbeing to enable them to stay fit for operational duty and allow them to continue to keep Cheshire safe.

PCC and CC outside HQ smiling.JPG

Additional support will be provided in areas in relation to their physical, social, financial and psychological health.

There is a real focus on ensuring that staff are provided with the appropriate support to carry-out their often challenging job and to prevent underlying health issues from potentially escalating.

Last September, the commissioner and chief constable announced that they were recruiting two MIND Mental Health Counsellors to work directly with officers and staff on-site and under new plans, the level of mental health support will be extended.

Cheshire Constabulary will provide Mental Health Awareness Training to all officers and staff to ensure they can spot the signs of poor mental health and know where to get support. There will also be advice on suicide awareness.

There will be increased funding for police officers in high risk roles to access the North West Police Benevolent Fund Treatment Centre which provides support for injured officers and a form of ‘decompression’ following traumatic incidents.

Also part of the plans is a We Care Emergency Loan Fund which will offer financial support for officers and staff who may, for a variety of reasons, have fallen on difficult financial times. This will include providing them with financial and debt awareness advice.

PCC David Keane said: “Our frontline officers and staff work in an incredibility high pressured environment every day. They often put themselves in harm’s way to keep us safe, sometimes at a great cost to their own health and wellbeing.

“This enhanced health, wellbeing and support package will benefit everyone working at Cheshire Constabulary.

“Whether it’s supporting those who have been exposed to traumatic incidents, providing rehabilitation for those physically injured on duty or, simply, widening access to psychological services.

“It’s vital that we continue to put the right support in place to ensure all of our officers and staff have access to support when they need it.”

Chief Constable Darren Martland added: “Increasing the level of health support and care will enable all police staff and officers to continue their fantastic work in keeping Cheshire safe.

“The two MIND Mental Health Counsellors are helping Cheshire Constabulary to extend the vast support already in place while additional awareness training to all staff will also allow for even greater peer to peer care.

“With many frontline officers risking their lives day in and day out, we are also keen to boost our support for those who may suffer injuries on duty or perhaps may need time out following particularly difficult and distressing incidents.

“By investing in our staff members’ physical, social, financial and psychological health, we are investing in the people of Cheshire.”