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Government Mental Health Initiative.

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Government Mental Health Initiative.

Post by Beachcomber on Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:09 pm

The Prime Minister has this week commented on mental health issues:

Press release Prime Minister unveils plans to transform mental health support

The following quote relates to mental health issues in the workplace:
a new partnership with employers to improve mental health support in the workplace. The Prime Minister has appointed Lord Dennis Stevenson, the long-time campaigner for greater understanding and treatment of mental illness, and Paul Farmer CBE, CEO of Mind and Chair of the NHS Mental Health Taskforce, to drive work with business and the public sector to support mental health in the workplace. These experts will lead a review on how best to ensure employees with mental health problems are enabled to thrive in the workplace and perform at their best. This will involve practical help including promoting best practice and learning from trailblazer employers, as well as offering tools to organisations, whatever size they are, to assist with employee well-being and mental health. It will review recommendations around discrimination in the workplace on the grounds of mental health wrote:

A good place to start, if the Government is indeed serious, would be to properly recognise mental health issues within the police service. Operational Police Officers are placed under constant tremendous pressure and the effects of that pressure do not go away in off duty periods. It is therefore inevitable that these pressures can build over time and can result in illness. Some of our members report that the support they have been given is totally inadequate and we have many reports from those who have had to retire on these grounds which indicate that they have been subsequently treated in a negative and appalling manner. Reports indicate that in some cases ex officers are being treated very badly by the system and their conditions are being exacerbated by these experiences.

Furthermore and on a more general IOD note, the review process itself is extremely stressful and many of us have had the constant anxiety of worrying about a review system that is loaded against us and cannot be trusted. It is now around ten years since police forces started to apply unlawful reviews to IOD's and, even though the guidance that drove these review policies has long been discredited, declared unlawful and withdrawn, some police forces are still trying to find ways to reduce our IOD pensions. Pipin web site has highlighted the effects of this ongoing anxiety stress and uncertainty on IOD's health and lives.

IOD's all have some form of permanent health problems which need to be managed and the effects of anxiety and stress must have a serious impact upon this.
3. Long-term stress can harm your health. Health problems can occur if the stress response goes on for too long or becomes chronic, such as when the source of stress is constant, or if the response continues after the danger has subsided. With chronic stress, those same life-saving responses in your body can suppress immune, digestive, sleep, and reproductive systems, which may cause them to stop working normally. Different people may feel stress in different ways. For example, some people experience mainly digestive symptoms, while others may have headaches, sleeplessness, sadness, anger or irritability. People under chronic stress are prone to more frequent and severe viral infections, such as the flu or common cold. Routine stress may be the hardest type of stress to notice at first. Because the source of stress tends to be more constant than in cases of acute or traumatic stress, the body gets no clear signal to return to normal functioning. Over time, continued strain on your body from routine stress may contribute to serious health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other illnesses, as well as mental health problems like depression or anxiety. wrote:

Things You Should Know About Stress

It is highly likely that there are IOD's who are suffering illnesses which result from, not just their index injury, but have been induced by the constant anxiety about the security of their IOD pensions. Some time ago I recall that NAMF issued guidance (which I should point out has not legal authority whatever) that suggested SMP's should assess the general health of the IOD pensioner before assessing the impact of the index injury - with the desired outcome of a lower percentage disability, no doubt!

Injured Police Officers deserve better that this.

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