As the former Chief Medical Officer for Devon and Cornwall Police, and now the national police Chief Medical Officer, I am keen to encourage and support innovative thinking and entrepreneurship needed to promote and maintain good health in the police family.
The police covenant sets expectations for all police forces to ensure that police officers and police staff are not disadvantaged because of their roles and their commitment to protecting their communities. Promoting and supporting good mental health is a priority because research tells us that policing is tough and too many police personnel suffer from poor mental health.
We need a range of evidence-based interventions and the Surfwell initiative is an exciting opportunity to develop a nature-based support programme that can assist not only the police but other emergency responders and occupational groups seeking to offer bio-psycho-social support.
I am pleased that, in developing Surfwell, service delivery will combine with academic research. Currently, there are two PhD studies evaluating the Surfwell model. As a supervisor of one of those studies, I will endeavour to play a small part in developing the evidence base to establish Surfwell within the pantheon of mental health interventions.
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Surfwell: Contact details here.