POLICE are marking World Mental Health Day by talking about the work they are doing to support officers, staff and volunteers.

Essex Police has a ‘Feel Well Live Well’ programme in place, which provides employees with the tools to help them deal with and reflect on their wellbeing and the mental health.

A separate programme called Headway gives employees an introduction to mindfulness and meditation with the aim of reducing stress, improving resilience, concentration and wellbeing and reducing anxiety.

Essex Police also has a Trauma Risk Management (TRiM) team who help officers, staff workers and volunteers get the support they need if they feel affected by an incident.

Chief Constable Ben-Julian (BJ) Harrington said: “While policing is an exciting and rewarding job, it can also be difficult and stressful.

“Our officers are helping people during the worst days of their lives and are left exposed to both physical and emotional trauma.

“Ensuring the welfare of my officers and staff is essential and we have many processes and programmes in place here at Essex Police to help ensure they receive the appropriate support, care and guidance.

“Never has mental health been more within the national spotlight and I’m delighted to say my force is in the best possible place to deal with any scenario put in front of us.

“Every day we are working closer than ever with our partners to make sure we can provide well-being and mental health support to members of the public when is crisis and front line workers.

“We can’t expect officers to look after the public if they’re not looked after themselves and that’s why I, alongside the Commissioner, Roger Hirst, re-signed the Blue Light Pledge last year and continue to take it just as seriously today.”

Essex Police continues to support MIND’s Blue Light Pledge to show its commitment to supporting employees as they continue to respond and deal with complex and often difficult incidents.

Chief Constable BJ Harrington resigned the pledge on World Mental Health Day in 2018 alongside Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst.

Mr Hirst said: “With one in four people experiencing a mental health problem it has never been more important to talk about mental health.

“We know that by supporting each other we can help people look after their mental health and improve their own wellbeing.

"If we are healthy we are all more able to make the most of our potential, cope with life and play a full part in our families, workplaces, communities and among friends.

“The Chief Constable and I signed the Mental Health Pledge in 2018 and I am proud of the progress we have made in supporting officers, staff and volunteers. This is an important subject and one that matters to all of us.”