Over 110 police officers and staff qualify in mental health awareness

Officers from all over Avon & Somerset, Police Community Support Officers (PCSO’s) and staff from Scientific Investigation and Lighthouse Victim Care have completed the training which has been funded by the European Social Fund. They have received a Level 2 NCFE in Mental Health Awareness, a nationally recognised qualification.

Their training means they will understand the affects that mental health conditions can have on members of the public, victims and offenders. They will have the skills to spot the signs of mental ill health, adapt their behaviour to minimise stress and the knowledge to refer people to relevant support agencies.

Lecturer Max Dalda Müller with officers and staff PC Peter Wills, Chris Lintern, Caz Jewell, Gavin Jennings, Christinna Tagg and Stuart Nichols

Stuart Nichols, Crime Scene Investigator said,

“I saw that the course and was certain that it would be beneficial to my team in Scientific Investigations. I arranged for them to attend and offered spare spaces to local officers. The interest was so high that I arranged more courses.

“We come into contact with people who have mental health issues as part of our work so having an understanding of why and how they are affected has enabled us to provide a better service to the community.

“We’ve had a very positive response from everyone involved. All of the courses are full and we have a waiting list for future training.”

Inspector Andrew Pritchard said,

“I am really pleased that local officers have been able to benefit from the training and the feedback has been really positive. An increased awareness and understanding of Mental Health issues will help the police team provide the very best support to our communities”

Max Dalda Müller, Mental Health Awareness trainer and assessor at Bridgwater College said,

“The police response to this course has been phenomenal. It has been a real privilege to have the opportunity to deliver this training, especially to hear the experiences and situations that officers have to deal with on a daily basis. I have learnt from them as much as I hope they have learnt from me.

“I think that both the police force and the general public will benefit from the partnership. It’s a great opportunity to change the way we view and respond to mental health in our society. At present there is a stigma attached to it despite the fact that it affects 1 in 4 people every year. It is an important issue for everyone and we need to start talking it.“