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CNC in-house force psychologist assisting in wellbeing and welfare

An in-house force psychologist for Civil Nuclear Constabulary Police Officers and Staff is assisting in wellbeing and welfare, says the Civil Nuclear Police Federation.

The remit of the new role is to update and create policies on officer mental health and wellbeing. It is also there - if necessary - to manage cases in-house instead of officers being necessarily referred externally to the NHS, or the private sector. And to advise the force on appropriate treatment routes.

Federation Chief Executive Nigel Dennis believes the role, which began just over six months ago, has proved to be a very useful addition to the portfolio of occupational health resources available to members and Police Staff.

"The force should be applauded for the appointment," Nigel said, "through it, they are recognising the importance of occupational health and it means we now have two in-house doctors and a number of nurses on hand, employed by the CNC and officers are benefitting from it hugely."

The stresses and strains of the job and the risk to officers to succumbing to stress, depression or anxiety can be heightened by the fact that the vast majority of CNC members carry firearms

"It makes officers' mental health extremely important," Nigel added.

"Mental health affects us all, but it shouldn't be seen as a negative.

"We want to create an environment where officers and staff feel open, where they can say freely that they have challenges and where we can provide early intervention and route map them through a system which can help them and help their families and get them back on duty fitter and stronger than before."

He added: "The reaction so far has been extremely positive. Mental health wellbeing is vitally important in the role our officers undertake. Colleagues can come forward, talk to the occupational health team or it can be GP driven.

"Everything is done in confidence, and there is no stigma attached to talking about mental health."