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Backup Buddy launched in Surrey & Sussex

Police Dependants’ Trust grant funds new app supporting positive mental health.

The UK’s first mental health support app for police has launched in Surrey and Sussex Police Forces. Backup Buddy, which was given the green light last spring, provides 24/7 advice on how to tackle the mental health challenges of policing.

Developed with the backing of the Force’s mental health groups, the app is being used throughout the Force to raise awareness, offer help in times of crisis, and provide tips on how to sustain positive mental health.

Backup Buddy is the brainchild of Sgt Gary Botteril at Surrey Police, who wanted to change the face of mental health in policing.

Botteril said: “Mental health in any organisation is a difficult area, but this is magnified within the police culture where it may be perceived as a failing or weakness. Backup Buddy is there to offer advice when you don’t feel able to talk to anyone else.”

A successful application for £3,000 from the Trust’s wellbeing fund gave the app the green light, and has been rolled out across Surrey and Sussex.