Mental Health Awareness Week 2023

Mental Health Awareness Week 2023

Here at Thames Valley Police (TVP) we value our people, and Mental Health Awareness Week presents another opportunity for us to prioritise mental health awareness, encourage open discussions to tackle stigma, and remind our people what is available to them should they need support. With the increase in conversations around mental health in recent years, TVP has proactively reviewed and enhanced our support systems to ensure our Police Officers and Police Staff have access to the right support when they need it.

As a force, we recognise that in order to effectively protect our communities, they need to look after themselves and seek help when needed. Policing can be tough, and physical, financial and emotional wellbeing can all impact mental health. With weekly dynamic breathwork sessions, discount and cashback platforms, visits from the Oscar Kilo Wellbeing Dogs, Peer Supporters, Workplace Needs Assessments, and so much more, TVP is proud to offer a range of services to support the wellbeing of our staff.

Our Staff Support Networks and buddy schemes supply peer-led support and advice that supplements more formal channels of care. At TVP, we are proud to have a diverse range of staff support networks, including faith-based, gender-based, sexual orientation-based and ethnicity-based networks. These networks support on a range of issues for members, or anyone working for TVP who requests help. They often act as a critical friend to the organisation by championing improvements to policies and practices that improve the working lives of those within the force. Our networks include Thames Valley Women’s Network, Men’s Forum, Neurodiversity Support Network, LGBT+ Police Network, Enable (Disability), Thames Valley Muslim Police Association, and more.

In addition, the networks work in partnership with a variety of less-formal Buddy Schemes. Buddy Schemes are run by volunteers across the organisation outside of their paid day-to-day duties. Our buddies use their lived experiences to support colleagues across a wide variety of issues including Maternity, Parenting, Mental Health, Cancer, Flexible working, Endometriosis, Autism, MS and Menopause.

Lucy Haynes, Business Partner, Wellbeing comments:

“Several of our Buddy Groups were set up during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the lack of regular contact proved difficult for some. I have a great sense of pride working for an organisation whose workforce are so proactive and motivated in wanting to help their colleagues overcome difficulties, and they add another layer to the support available.”

For more information, check out our Supporting You page.