Unit looking into police mental health launched
Dr. Jessica Miller will be developing new programmes at the charity to improve the mental health and wellbeing of police officers.
Following on from the Injury on Duty research published in November 2016, the Police Dependants’ Trust has launched a new unit looking at improving the mental health and well-being support available for serving police officers across the UK.
Heading this new unit will be neuropsychologist Dr. Jessica Miller, an expert on psychology, trauma processing, and the policing brain. Having worked previously with Cambridgeshire and Thames Valley forces, she has most recently studied the role of DNA in trauma processing at Bournemouth University. Speaking of her appointment, she said, “I am delighted to be joining the Police Dependants’ Trust as we improve the lives of police officers affected by psychological injury.”
At the recent conference on post-traumatic stress in frontline policing hosted by the Police Dependants’ Trust, Dr. Miller outlined the link between genetics and trauma management within the policing brain. Welcoming Dr. Miller to the Police Dependants’ Trust, CEO Gill Scott-Moore said, “Jess has a unique insight into the policing brain, and I look forward to working with her to develop the programmes that are so desperately needed by frontline officers suffering in silence.”
The launching of this new unit is the next step for the charity as it increases its support around mental health. Last year saw the launch of the £3million 1in4 fund that has already seen £0.6m committed to projects at force level up and down the country.
The Injury on Duty report was the World’s largest study into people suffering injuries related to their policing role. One of the key themes from the research showed that while physical injuries are harrowing, they are taken and treated seriously as a matter of course.
The same cannot be said of mental injuries, and officers who do recognise the symptoms do not ask for help because of fear for their job. With over 15% of serving officers suffering in silence with the symptoms of post-traumatic stress, the Police Dependants’ Trust made a commitment to do more to help them, and to support the mental health and wellbeing needs of frontline officers across the UK.