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Mental Health Awareness Week - the value of peer support

PSA President Paul Fotheringham has published a blog in support of Mental Health Awareness Week 2022:

This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week focuses on the concept of loneliness.
Despite being surrounded by countless colleagues on every shift, policing can be a lonely place, especially when dealing with pressure and responsibility. As leaders, we need to support our teams and our colleagues, whilst also being mindful of our own mental wellbeing.
Our members are senior operational leaders and we know that many are struggling with the mental health impact of their roles.
Our latest pay and morale survey showed that just 40% report having high personal motivation, the lowest figure in seven years of our survey.  We gather this data and evidence to understand the lives of superintendents, then use it to support our push for positive changes across policing, or to pro-actively find ways to support their wellbeing and best interests.
That’s why we launched our Peer Support Programme last year, in partnership with Oscar Kilo. Our members are volunteering their time to train as peer supporters, attending a short but comprehensive one-day course hosted by Oscar Kilo. We can then pair a trained peer supporter with any member of our association who would like informal support from a colleague.
A promotion to superintendent, or to any new or senior role can be daunting and brings it with a new range of duties and responsibilities alongside day-to-day demand. Projects such as our Peer Support Programme, or similar local initiatives, can make such a difference to an individual that can be feeling overwhelmed, lonely or under strain.

I would ask each of our members to consider the following today:

-        How are you feeling? Could you benefit from a peer supporter? If so, get in touch with us and we will help
-        Could you help a colleague? If so, check our e-bulletin or website for details of upcoming training courses
-        Do you need support for you or your team? Check out the range of support service available through Oscar Kilo, which is dedicated to supporting the wellbeing of our workforce.