Lincolnshire Police has followed a royal lead in backing a ground-breaking campaign encouraging people to be open about mental health.
The campaign called ‘Heads Together’ was launched on Thursday by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with Prince Harry, who said that “attitudes to mental health are at a tipping point”.
A series of videos have been released in which celebrities such as former cricketer Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff, singer Professor Green and political advisor Alastair Campbell share their own experiences of mental health.
Chief Inspector Phil Vickers, of Lincolnshire Police, said: “We know that one in four of the wider population will fight mental health issues every year and within the emergency services that figure is higher still.
“At Lincolnshire Police we have a culture of ‘being strong’ and doing all that we can to help vulnerable people, being there when people suffer life-changing traumatic events.
“So it should be no surprise when those experiences impact on us as we have officers facing violence, investigating horrific incidents, standing in harm’s way to protect others and handling all cases with compassion and empathy.
We know that one in four of the wider population will fight mental health issues every year and within the emergency services that figure is higher stillChief Inspector Phil Vickers, Lincolnshire Police
“Attending a fatal collision, telling a family that a loved one has died or facing a violent offender can all occur in just a single day’s work.
“Equally, prolonged exposure to investigating offences perpetrated against children and domestic abuse where victims have suffered for many years is very demanding.
“This isn’t to say we don’t understand the stresses and pressures that the residents we serve can face.
“Our officers do their utmost to support and protect anyone who is suffering from mental health and encourage them to share their feelings.”
National research by YouGov shows that Britain is “opening up” about its mental health and Lincolnshire Police is encouraging residents and its officers to follow this example.
Chief Inspector Vickers said: “We are getting better at recognising the signs of mental health and encouraging our officers to talk to someone if they need to.
“By doing this we can ensure that residents receive an excellent service when they need us most.
“We are fully supportive of this campaign as it further encourages our officers to have these conversations and say ‘I don’t feel OK’.”
For more information, visit www.headstogether.org.uk/oktosay/