Force Mental Health Liaison Officer, Wayne Goodwin, shares with CIRAS the tools Kent Police have in place to tackle health and wellbeing within their organisation.

 

Health and wellbeing mentors

Health and wellbeing mentors were introduced to provide welfare support for individuals who are off long term sick and require a welfare contact when the relationship with line manager is preventing a healthy liaison and contact regime.

CIRAS have observed...

  • using the right words and approach can ease the transition back into work
  • employees value regular contact and communication with their managers

 

1-1

1-1s provide the opportunity for staff and line managers to discuss work and welfare matters in a confidential setting. When a staff member returns from long term absence, we hold a 1-1 at the earliest opportunity and ask how they feel. What anxieties do they have about returning to the workplace and what can we do to best support them.

CIRAS have observed...

  • time to talk is an essential part of managing wellbeing in the workplace
  • regular dialogue and socialisation ‘small talk’ between managers and staff builds a relationship whereby it becomes easier to discuss health and well being

 

Staff on medication

Please consider the impact of medication on shift work or driving. Some are affected by disruptions in sleep pattern, particularly with anti-depressants. Occupational health can provide advice, as well as the individual's GP.

CIRAS have observed...

  • medication is cited as a factor in work place fatigue
  • employees and managers could benefit from understanding more the impact medication has on ‘fitness for work' 

 

Health and wellbeing special point of contact (SPOCs)

We have 45 volunteer health and wellbeing SPOCs who have experienced health or wellbeing issues and can support others dealing with the same issue. Some sergeants have already recognised the value of health and wellbeing SPOCs and have encouraged staff to talk.

CIRAS have observed...

  • managers and employees value insights and tools from health and well-being specialists and the recent Mindfulness Roadshows were well received
  • when handling health and well- being issues the typical day to day management approaches are best tailored and guidance for managers is beneficial 

 

If you would like further information about health and wellbeing at Kent Police, please contact wayne.goodwin@kent.pnn.police.uk

The practice of mindfulness has gained enormous popularity in recent years. It can be used for the reduction of stress, anxiety and depression, and its effectiveness is fully backed up by research. Mindfulness can have positive, far reaching effects on a person’s well-being at home and at work.  

Click here for slides providing a few tips for more mindful everyday living.