Katie Clift, professional development lead for Hampshire Police Federation, was speaking out on mental health and suicide, after an officer revealed recently they had lost three colleagues during his service.
Katie said: ‘We heard from a retired police officer who again was talking about his journey. He gave a really emotive account of the point he felt he broke, and the harrowing scream of a mother who he took to see her dead son and how that’s lived with him forever. And what came out of it was just a need for that support, to have somebody around you, to have people looking out for you.’
Recent discussions on the effects trauma on mental health have looked at officers’ experiences and the support struggling officers need to cope.
Katie added: ‘It was probably one of the most impactive and emotional inputs I’ve seen.
‘The drip effect of all these things that you experience and you see, and then when your cup just becomes so full it overflows. The impact that has on you, both physically and emotionally can be huge.
‘For me, the big thing to take away is that work is being done to look at suicide prevention. We are talking about suicide, which we’ve never done before, and it needs to be spoken about openly and freely. The taboo that goes behind that shouldn’t be there anymore.
‘Let’s look out for our colleagues. If you see somebody who’s changed, who is displaying signs that they wouldn’t normally see, ask them. Be open, be frank.’