World Mental Health Day 2017 is today (Tuesday 10th October) and with this year’s theme being Mental Health in the Workplace, the force has confirmed its commitment to supporting staff with their mental well-being.
Mental Health charity Mind launched its Blue Light Programme in 2015 after independent research it commissioned showed emergency services workers were even more at risk of experiencing a mental health problem than the rest of the population but they were less likely to seek support.
Cleveland Police has embraced the Blue Light Programme, with a number of officers and staff becoming Blue Light “Champions”.
These volunteers have focused on learning more about mental health, challenging the stigma of mental health, and making positive changes in their approach to well-being with the support of the Blue Light Programme
Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger said: “Our officers and staff work tirelessly to support our communities- often in challenging situations - and it is vital for them to know that their own mental wellbeing is a priority for me.
“I’m proud of how the force has embraced the Blue Light Programme and how staff at all levels are talking about mental health and working together to raise awareness of the subject.”
Assistant Chief Constable Jason Harwin added: “When we joined the Blue Light Programme, Cleveland Police pledged to put mental health at the top of the agenda. We now have 50 Blue Light Champions among our officers and staff who undertaken a training course called Speaking Up, Speaking Out and they have been trained to offer peer support.
“It’s vital that our officers and staff feel supported in their day to day work, and looking after their mental health is one very significant means of doing this.”
Inspector Phil Spencer, who leads the Blue Light Programme for Cleveland Police said: “I wanted to be part of the Blue Light programme because I wanted to help our staff with their mental health and well-being. Behind the uniform, we are also human beings.
“We sometimes have mental health issues and although we are seen as strong people, we need help, support and advice. The Mind Blue Light programme is helping us to do that, and it is imperative it’s a sustainable programme and becomes part of our everyday working environment.
“I want our staff and the public that we help to know that sometimes it is okay, not to be okay”.
Posted on Tuesday 10th October 2017