Shining a light on mental health
This week Police are supporting Mental Health Awareness Week, a national awareness campaign run by the Mental Health Foundation. MHAW is a week of action to promote positive mental health and raise awareness of the support police and partner agencies have for the public along with support for officers and staff.
Mental health affects us all – our communities, our work, our colleagues. Staff and officers come into contact with people with mental ill-health on a regular basis. The number of calls police receive related to mental ill-health has risen significantly within the past 2 years. From April 2017 – March 2018 they received 10,120 calls linked to mental ill-health, an increase of 40% when compared to the same period in 2015/16.
Within the last 12 months frontline officers have completed a number of training events; these have included sessions on mental health awareness, autism awareness, hate crime and the Herbert Protocol (a national scheme that encourages carers to compile useful information which could be used in the event of a vulnerable person going missing). Across the force there are also 37 dedicated mental health champions supporting the organisation. A representative from the mental health charity MIND works within the Command Hub, providing knowledge and guidance that allows officers to support the public when they are in crisis or just need help.