Mental health crisis hotline launched by our National Police Wellbeing Service
The Home Secretary has confirmed investment in a new round-the-clock mental health crisis hotline for policing which will be launched by our National Police Wellbeing Service, Oscar Kilo, in 2024.
The work is part of the Police Covenant. This is a government initiative to ensure that officers, staff, volunteers and their families are not disadvantaged by their service in the police, and to mitigate the impact policing may have on their day-to-day life.
We warmly welcome the announcement made by the Home Secretary today regarding the investment into a 24/7 mental health crisis hotline for our dedicated police officers and staff, set to launch in Spring 2024.
This pivotal move by the Home Office is not only timely, but also aligns seamlessly with the ongoing efforts to bolster the mental health support available within the policing community.
In our expert view, this initiative is very much needed and follows on from the work that's already being done to support the mental health of police officers and staff. The journey from the suicide prevention consensus statement, the development of the Police Covenant, and the creation of a Chief Medical Officer for policing have all been crucial steps towards understanding and addressing the unique mental health challenges faced by those in the policing profession.
The National Police Wellbeing Service, under the College of Policing, is honoured to be entrusted with the development of this vital service. We believe that now, more than ever, it is the right time for more focus to be put into this area, ensuring that our officers and staff have access to the support they need, whenever they need it.
In developing this service, we will be working collaboratively with partners across the policing and emergency services landscape. Our approach will be inclusive and consultative, ensuring that the hotline is shaped by the collective expertise and experience of various stakeholders that are already working hard in this space.
We welcome the initial funding from the Home Office to get this initiative off the ground. As part of our work to develop it, we'll be looking to make sure we develop a sustainable funding solution to ensure its longevity, ensuring that this hotline remains a steadfast resource for our officers and staff in the years to come.
Andy Rhodes, National Police Wellbeing Service Director
In her speech at the Police Federation conference, the Home Secretary referred to ongoing work to review the funding of Police Treatment Centres, and to other programmes led by the National Police Wellbeing Service, including:
- a programme to better support families of serving officers and staff
- a ground-breaking project exploring the use of wearable technology to tackle sleep, fatigue and recovery
Both are due for launch later this year.