Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

Date published: 10 May 2021 15:12
Dated: 10 May 2021 16:11:33

As Mental Health Awareness Week begins across the UK today, South Yorkshire Police is continuing its commitment to working with partners to ensure a more effective service for people suffering from mental ill-health.

The theme of this year’s week is nature. Research conducted by the Mental Health Foundation showed that during the pandemic, going for walks outside was one of our top coping strategies, with 45 per cent of us reporting being in green spaces had been vital for our mental health.

Around one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem in any given year. And dealing with mental health issues remains a core part of police business.

Beginning today (Monday 10 May) Mental Health Awareness Week gives us all the opportunity to open up and engage in the discussion about mental health.

DCI Richard Hammond, SYP force lead for mental health, said: “After the challenges that the last year has presented us all with, it is more important than ever that we have open and honest conversations about mental health.

“Despite increasing awareness over recent years, mental health is still a difficult subject for a many people. This awareness week is an opportunity to have those conversations, to listen to each other, check on each other and attempt to understand each other a little better.”

As a force SYP has made great strides in recent years to provide extra support for individuals suffering from mental-health issues.

The most recent of these has been, working with health and social care partners, the creation of resources to support people affected by suicide, including the appointment of a suicide prevention officer.

The role is part of a pilot scheme funded by the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System (ICS), which aims to reduce deaths by suicide by 10 per cent across our region.

PC Nick Knowles, who is also the force’s subject matter expert on vulnerable adults, started his new role last August.

The force has also started a wellbeing initiative called Mind Over Mountain, which sees staff and officers get into the great outdoors for walks to boost their mental health. The team that runs the project is looking forward to resuming events again once Covid-19 restrictions allow.

DCI Hammond added: "There is so much research that shows that spending time outdoors has a positive impact on wellbeing. It can give you that little bit of time and space to breath, and the reports coming back from staff who have accessed the Mind Over Mountain Walks illustrates that.

“As a force we will continue to work closely with our health service colleagues to ensure we are doing all we can so people suffering from mental ill health receive an appropriate response from the police service.”

For more information, or for advice and support relating to mental health, you can visit the Mental Health Foundation website -

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