Don’t Suffer In Silence Over Christmas

Christmas and New Year can be a tough time for officers and it’s important that those struggling know there’s help out there for them, South Yorkshire Police Federation has said.

Federation Chair Steve Kent said: “Officers need to reach out, speak to each other, and check in with colleagues to see if everyone’s ok. If they’re worried about somebody, they can reach out to the Federation or to Occupational Health and we have organisations we can put people in touch with.

“We also have our own counsellor in the Federation who will see everybody once, and if people are in the group insurance scheme they can potentially access a course of eight sessions. We’ve got our online support network that can be found on our website, the force has its own Employee Assistance Programme, and there’s also Call4BackUp.

“And of course there are external organisations such as Samaritans, that are available 24/7.”

It was vital that people talk more about how they feel and for issues to be recognised before it’s too late, Steve said.

He continued: “Getting that first step out of the way and getting somebody referred, or just getting someone to come down to the Fed office and speak to somebody, that’s a big step. Once we get that done, it tends to be a much better place for people, to get them the support that they need. There’s far too many people suffering in silence.”