Cambridgeshire Police Federation chair Liz Groom is encouraging officers to seek support if they have money troubles this Christmas.
Liz says money worries can impact on people’s mental health and wellbeing but stresses the Federation is there to help and to direct members to places to get support.
“Christmas is a time when spending can easily and quickly get out of control,” Liz said, “And this year, there may be the added pressure of partners or loved ones being furloughed or made redundant because of the pandemic.
“We’re here to help members experiencing financial difficulties. Worrying about money can be extremely stressful and can lead to mental health and wellbeing issues. We want to break down the stigma around talking about our finances and we want members to know where to turn if they need help.”
It’s a message echoed by Hayley Aley, chair of the national Federation’s wellbeing sub-committee, in a blog on the national Federation website.
Hayley said: “This month we want to encourage officers who are struggling to make ends meet to seek support and realise that there is help available.
“I have been there myself – as a student officer I was a single-parent and had sleepless nights worrying about money. If only I knew then what I know now. There is no shame in admitting to others that times are hard – asking for help and support is the most positive thing you can do, not least for your own mental health and wellbeing.
“Money worries can eat away at you – cause you to feel depressed, isolated, destroy your confidence, relationships at work and home, interfere with your family time – the list goes on.
“We want to help you manage your financial stress and we will be shining the light on where to get help and support – keep an eye on our website, social media channels and look out for the next edition of POLICE magazine.
“Some officers who have struggled financially have offered to share their stories and we will be publishing these this month. I have no doubt their experiences will resonate with many – inspire and give hope that there is a way through these difficult times.”
Hayley added: “Many officers worry about admitting that they are in financial difficulty for fear of jeopardising their job.
“The truth is that declaring your financial situation to professional standards can alleviate that vulnerability – again a positive step towards getting back on track. And don’t forget that you can reach out to your local rep or branch to support you with that too.”
Find out more on the national Federation website where you can also find links to the mental wellbeing campaign Hear ‘Man Up’, Think ‘Man Down’.
Police Mutual has published a series of factsheets offering financial support and advice. Find out more at Policemutual.co.uk