New management of trauma exposure project launched

Following on from the Post Traumatic Stress in Policing Conference held in March this year, the Police Dependants’ Trust has launched a new project with the University of Cambridge to develop and test new approaches to the management of trauma exposure in policing.

The 120 delegates at the March 2017 conference highlighted 4 key priorities:

  1. Effective techniques for individuals to better manage their own mental health
  2. Training for supervisors to recognise and respond to the mental health needs of staff
  3. Screening for those in high risk roles to enable leaders to take appropriate action
  4. A national framework with a specialist care pathway for those who need treatment as a result of exposure to trauma

Designed by the Police Dependants’ Trust research fellow Dr Jess Miller and led by Dr Brendan Burchell at the University of Cambridge, this ground-breaking initiative has four workstreams:

  • To understand the benefits of teaching trauma processing techniques – can we prevent or reduce the harmful effects of trauma exposure?
  • To develop police specific cognitive training tools to improve wellbeing and resilience in typical policing scenarios
  • To understand how specific policing roles exposed to atypical trauma can be better supported
  • To develop a new trauma impact measure for working conditions in UK policing

A steering group has been established to oversee the project including Greater Manchester, Devon & Cornwall, Cambridgeshire police forces, the College of Policing and the Police Federation of England & Wales.

Commenting on the project, Police Dependants’ Trust Chief Executive, Gill Scott-Moore said “This year has seen the police service face unprecedented challenges – terror attacks, Grenfell and continued underfunding – all placing a growing and unsustainable demand on the people we rely on to protect us.  Those who work in frontline policing have been very clear that they need more support to help them cope with the traumatic realities of policing – an overwhelming 86% of officers and staff told us this in our Injury on Duty research.  This project has been designed in direct response to this need and will, we hope, deliver tried and tested tools and techniques which can ultimately be used throughout the police service to reduce the risk of harm.”

To see more information on the project and follow its progress visit