Being aware of how we are affected by stress is vital for everyone.
This is the message from the Ministry of Defence Police’s Race Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage (REACH) team, during April – national #StressAwarenessMonth, which is fully supported by the Defence Police Federation.
Police officers can encounter up to 600 traumatic events during their career.
The team said: “We know that stress can affect everyone and as the Race Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage Staff network we also understand that under-represented ethnic groups may face further factors that contribute to stress.
“The Health and Safety Executive conducted research around ethnicity and stress and found that there was a link between ethnicity, psychological distress and work distress. We also acknowledge, that some individuals from certain cultures may not feel comfortable when talking about stress, or addressing it, so throughout this month we encourage everyone to break this barrier and challenge themselves to address stress and to speak out.”
The Defence Police Federation has a wealth of resources on its website for officers who are struggling with their wellbeing. The Stress Management Society has published this online tool to see if stress is becoming a problem, and don’t forget you can contact your Federation Rep if you’re struggling: https://www.stress.org.uk/individual-stress-test/
REACH added: “The MDP Race Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage (REACH) Staff Network, are taking time during this month to reflect on stress awareness and will promote this among our members and others in the organisation. We would like to re-iterate the importance of individuals finding coping mechanisms and addressing factors that may cause stress, be it personally or professionally.
“We encourage members in all parts of the organisation to take time to dig deeper and to purposefully reflect on this month and throughout the year as we continue to work our way ‘back to normal’. It is important that we all maximise on all forms of support around us that is available – especially in times like this when stress is prevalent.”
For further information from the Health and Safety Executive please see the following link: https://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrpdf/rr308.pdf
If you would like to join the REACH Staff Network, please register your interest via force internal systems. Pictured is Princess Hercules, who is a civilian member of staff on the REACH Network Board, who holds the position of Communication & Engagement Officer.