Culture shift on post-traumatic stress needed
Findings from the post-traumatic stress in frontline policing conference published today.
The Police Dependants’ Trust has today published the recommendations from the conference on post-traumatic stress in frontline policing held in March this year in Lancashire.
The conference, which was attended by 116 delegates from police forces across the UK, heard from experts in police trauma and neuropsychology as well presentations from the NHS and military about initiatives available to other professions.
The conference follows on from the Injury on Duty report published by the charity last year which highlighted that whilst half of all injuries on duty in the last five years included some level of psychological injury, not enough was being done to treat it. Charity CEO Gill Scott-Moore said, “With 48 different responses in 48 forces across the UK, and no joined up strategy, injured officers are not getting the psychological support they so desperately need. The impact this is having on their long-term health is only getting worse, but the level of engagement at this conference shows that there is a real desire to change.”
Over 50 recommendations were put forward by delegates, with the need for resilience techniques to be routinely available, the training of supervisors to recognise and respond effectively to those experiencing trauma, screening in high-risk roles, and a Nationally agreed care pathway for treatment all prioritised for immediate action.
The report recommendations, which can be downloaded from the Police Dependants’ Trust website, have been submitted to the review into mental health and wellbeing currently being conducted by the College of Policing.
Responding to the report, Chief Constable and College of Policing representative Andy Rhodes said, “The PDT conference has thrown the gauntlet down by demanding we recognise exposure to trauma has always been part of the policing experience. We must now listen to those who live and breathe it as well as the experts who are committed to developing the research.
I believe we have taken the first steps to breaking the stigma with the first conference and now this publication………we can now start to talk about it openly without any fear. Trauma is part of policing ……… it’s why we are here and so we must re-frame our attitude and strive to move from a crisis response to a preventative one.”