PDT announce £3 million fund to support mental health and wellbeing

From the Police Dependants’ Trust News Edition 5 – May 2016

£3 million over three years; that’s what we’re pledging to help forces support those who suffer psychological harm as a result of their policing role.

We are announcing this new fund following the publication of the interim results from our Injury on Duty survey, which is being carried out by a team from the University of Surrey. The responses of 8447 participants have been analysed and it was found that 82% had experienced either a physical or psychological injury within the last 5 years and 45% had taken a week or longer off work as a result.

Gill Scott Moore, CEO of the Police Dependants’ Trust, said: “By far, the most common reported injuries were psychological – in particular anxiety and depression – so it is perhaps unsurprising that better access to mental health services was rated as a high priority by those who took part in the survey.

“The final report, which will include data from 59 in-depth interviews, will be published in the autumn but we were keen to respond immediately to the clear need that exists for better mental health support.”

We’re calling this new fund the OneInFour Fund because, according to the Health Survey for England, that’s the number of adults who will be diagnosed with a mental illness at some stage during their lives. The purpose of the fund is to develop the capacity and capability of police forces to support those who suffer psychological harm as a result of their policing role, and to contribute to an evidence base of “what works” so that learning can be shared across the police service.

DCC Andy Rhodes from Lancashire Constabulary is the national lead for Wellbeing and Policing. He said: “The NPCC Wellbeing and Engagement working group have identified stress, anxiety and depression as a major priority for police forces after reviewing several staff surveys and case studies. It is a hugely under-reported issue and the fund from the Police Dependants’ Trust will stimulate real innovation whilst helping to reduce stigma. It’s a massive boost to help support the people who do an amazing job day in day out.”

The largest grant available over the three-year period will be £150,000 and all UK police forces will be eligible to apply. Projects must be designed to help address formally identified gaps in provision e.g. for England as identified by undertaking a Public Health England Workplace Wellbeing Charter gap analysis or to address concerns/gaps identified via PEEL Inspections.

Applications for funding will open later this year and more information will be available from www.pdtrust.org In the meantime you can read the interim Injury on Duty survey results here.