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Bereavement counselling service available for all forces

The National Police Wellbeing Service has partnered with a specialist bereavement and emotional wellbeing service Just 'B’.

A bereavement counselling service is now available for officers and family members who need support following the death of an officer or member of staff either in the execution of their duties or by suicide.

The National Police Wellbeing Service has funded the initiative and it will be provided for free to all forces. It is designed either as an option for those who do not have this support in place, or as an addition to it. 

The service will be provided through a specialist bereavement service, Just 'B’, who will be able to allocate a counsellor to each staff member or family member to work alongside them as they manage their grief.

Support can be provided for a family group or one-to-one – while other options around peer support and network events will also be provided.

If a member of staff (police officer or member of civilian staff) dies in the execution of their duty, or dies by suicide, then the force would follow their usual processes and begin to provide support for the family members of the deceased, and their immediate work colleagues.

The force, most likely through their Occupational Health department, would make the referral into Just 'B'. The nominated lead from the wellbeing or Occupational Health team would make contact with them via a direct number for the police bereavement support service when officers and staff need support. 

NPWS Service Director, Andy Rhodes said: “Policing is a unique, rewarding, but challenging and sometimes dangerous job. We want to ensure that all police forces have options to provide tailored and specific support if the worst should happen.

“We have established this service with Just 'B’ as part of our ongoing commitment to delivering key elements of the Police Covenant, ensuring that all police forces have options to be able to provide more support to officers, staff, but also their families.”

Just ‘B’ Chief Executive Tony Collins said: “We are pleased to be working in partnership with Oscar Kilo, the National Police Wellbeing Service (NPWS), to deliver essential and invaluable bereavement counselling support to police forces across England and Wales.

“Our tailored support will be there for police officers, staff and their families across the 43 police forces, ensuring it can be accessed during a time when it’s most needed following a death in service or by suicide, with our specialist support provided alongside existing structures in place.”

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