Catching Huddersfield’s criminals is far from stress-free.
That’s why a ‘chill out zone’ has been opened at Huddersfield Police Station.
The ‘Wellbeing Suite’ includes a quiet room for prayer and contemplation, a private case conference room, facilities for nursing mothers and private washrooms.
Employees can use the suite when they need a break from the stresses of their job as part of a drive to reduce mental illness in the force.
Twelve police staff have also been trained as listeners and counsellors with help from charities Support to Recovery and The Samaritans.
Artists from Support to Recovery produced a handmade collage for the suite, which will be displayed in the entrance, as well as artwork for the quiet room and canteen.
Supt for People and Culture Marianne Huison said: “At a time when demands upon and expectations of our staff have never been higher, it is critical that we help them in managing their health and wellbeing.
“We recognise that policing is a stressful job and West Yorkshire Police has taken a very proactive approach to health and wellbeing on a local level.”
Pc Elaine Burke, of Kirklees Continuous Improvement Unit – who was involved in setting the suite up – said: “Both the Wellbeing Suite and the Peer Support team are important aspects in our forward thinking and accessible support for our staff on a day-to-day basis.
“Implementing actions to help support wellbeing has benefits both on a personal level and within the work environment.”
Christine Pickavance, Director at The Samaritans Huddersfield branch, said: “It has been a privilege to work with Support to Recovery on the Police Peer Support project. As Samaritans it is our jobs to actively listen to all callers. As part of the peer support training we have worked on hearing and really listening to colleagues who need support.”
Scarlette Homeshaw, Operations Manager at Support to Recovery, said: “It has been brilliant to see how dedicated our local police force are in supporting the well-being of both our community and their own staff. S2R’s regular craft group were thrilled to make a wall hanging for the Well-being suite and for members of Kirklees Police and Samaritans to have taken part in the creation of this mixed-media artwork.”