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Devon and Cornwall Police Men’s Health Conference tackles the challenges around mental health

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The event is taking place at Plymouth Argyle Football Club.

The event is taking place at Plymouth Argyle Football Club.

Devon and Cornwall Police are holding a conference on Wednesday 12 February to encourage male colleagues to talk openly about mental health and promote general wellbeing.

The event, which is being held at Plymouth Argyle Football Club, follows on the from the previous successful conference. 130 officers and staff of all ranks and levels will come together for a day of talks, activities and learning.

Detective Chief Inspector Matt Bourne, one of the event’s organisers wants to help break down barriers that might be stop men asking for help. He said: “It is well documented that men don’t talk openly enough about their feelings and emotions and this is exactly what we want to tackle by getting things out into the open. We have fantastic support for all our staff at Devon and Cornwall Police, but it is our male colleagues who seem to find it harder to ask for help with regards to their mental health.

The Mind Blue Light 2015 survey told us that emergency workers are twice as likely to identify work as the main cause of mental health problems compared to the general workforce. When looking at this in relation to men we know we need to step up the support of those around us, especially when 75% of all suicides in the UK are men and that men are four times less likely to seek help when needed compared to women.

“Those taking part will be encouraged to talk openly and give them the chance to hear from inspirational speakers and get involved in the many interactive sessions that have been put on for the event.

“Our hosts, Plymouth Argyle have been especially supportive of our event as have Police Care UK who have helped to fund the event through a special grant.”

Those attending the event will hear from numerous speakers including Professor Frank Dick OBE who as well as being Daley Thompson’s coach through the 1980’s, managed the GB Olympic Team through four Olympics cycles. They will also hear from Carola Becker a certified nutritionist and founder of ‘Life is Good Nutrition’ and will talk about the effect foods have on our mental and physical health.

Detective Chief Inspector Bourne’s aim for the day is for those attending to leave feeling they can talk openly about the challenges they face. He said: “We want to see men talking throughout the day about the specific challenges they face when it comes to seeking support and help male colleagues take action if they are struggling with their mental or physical health.”

The event is taking place on Wednesday 12 February and starts 9am at Plymouth Argyle Football Club.



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