Metropolitan Police officers and staff can get help and peer assistance from a Bereavement Support Group which provides one-to-one support via text, email, in person or over the phone.
The support group has been promoting its work – including using a campaign bus – outside New Scotland Yard as part of National Grief Awareness Week.
It is run by a small group of police officers and staff and offers peer support and a safe space for officers experiencing bereavement or loss.
One of them is Connel Reid. He said: “We share the same belief that a change is needed when it comes to the care of officers and staff within our organisation following a loss, whether personal or policing.
“Through our own lived experience we are aware that making the first steps back to work can be very difficult. Grief isn’t mental illness; the course of the emotional experience that accompanies bereavement and loss is not linear. We recognise that different cultures approach grief in different ways.
“The group can help members by sharing experiences, just listening and understanding that no one needs to be alone, providing someone to check-in with on a bad day, when it doesn’t feel right to share feelings with work colleagues.”
The group operates a remote coffee meet each month. Also, in the new year it will be running a weekly remote café for all emergency workers.
The group also signposts individuals to agencies or resources at work or in the community.
Connel added: “As so many work days are lost to work-related stress and other emotional burdens – of which grief surely is a factor, and in our job the likelihood of encountering a trigger is high, the group aims to provide a bit a support to help people get there, feel safer and better understood as they navigate towards new meaning in life.”
“The last couple of years have been tough on most of us, there are a lot of people silently struggling with trauma and distress, why not reach out to someone you know and let them know you care.”