CHESHIRE’S police and crime commissioner is funding a series of mindfulness sessions to help police officers and staff in Cheshire improve their mental health.

The start of the sessions coincides with Mental Health Awareness Week and they will be delivered virtually over a 10-week period and available to all officers and staff in Cheshire Constabulary and the Commissioner’s office.

The sessions will help participants to discuss and demonstrate wellbeing through mindfulness and how to use it to learn to relax, deal with physical and emotional pain, sleep well and make better decisions from a more relaxed mental state.

PCC David Keane has funded the sessions using his Safer Communities Fund which takes money from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act and reinvests it back into communities.

He said: “It is vitally important that our officers and staff have access to appropriate support to manage their mental and physical health, especially at such a challenging time when everyone’s lives have been affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“This is on top of the existing pressures being placed on officers and staff from witnessing excessive trauma to working long hours on a regular basis - sometimes the demands of the job can be too much and it’s our job to ensure they have the right support in place.

“These sessions will help give our workforce some head space and the ability to use some of the techniques that mindfulness teaches to develop coping mechanisms to deal with day-to-day challenges.”

Mindfulness is scientifically proven to help those taking part deal with working life with more patience, awareness and presence.