York & North Yorkshire

New mental health centre for police in Harrogate

Policed Treat Image copyright Google

A new centre to provide more mental health support to police officers would help tackle the number of staff sick days, a charity has said.

Figures obtained by the BBC show almost 800 officers took time off for mental health reasons across three Yorkshire police forces, in 2018.

The figure equates to the loss of almost 33,000 working days across the North, South and West Yorkshire forces.

The Police Treatment Centres charity hopes to open a new unit in Harrogate.

The charity received a £1.5m government grant in 2017 to expand its psychological wellbeing programme at the two centres it already runs.

'Tsunami of demand'

But it also relies on donations from serving officers and the public, and bosses say demand for its psychological services was growing.

Chief executive officer Patrick Cairns, said: "There's no doubt it has risen significantly and I am clear in my own mind that growth will continue in the future and that's really the main purpose behind us trying to respond to that growth.

"I don't think the stress and the pressure and the demands on police officers, police staff and forces organisationally is going to lessen anytime in the near future, if anything it will continue to grow."

The proposed centre would increase bedroom capacity and include workshop areas for patients to take part in classes, complementary therapy rooms and specially designed counselling rooms, the charity said.

Mr Cairns said it would enable the charity to treat an extra 1,000 people each year.

"We've secured some funding and we are trying to secure the match funding to further develop on site to meet the growing tsunami of demand from individuals," he added.

Follow BBC Yorkshire on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Send your story ideas to yorkslincs.news@bbc.co.uk.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites