On 26th June Section UK President Clive Wood announced that the ThinBlueLineUK was to be their nominated charity of the year.

Founder and trustee of the ThinBlueLineUK Gary Craig said “I’m delighted to be associated with Section UK of the IPA. I’m very pleased they have agreed to let the ThinBlueLineUK be their nominated charity. Both of our organisations have friendship and service at the centre. I look forward to working with President Clive Wood to promote the well-being of all of our members.”

This was a huge announcement for us and we have worked very closely with VP Sean Hannigan. The ThinBlueLineUK has a strong belief in promoting mental health and wellbeing amongst our police officers and this ties in perfectly with what the IPA want to do as well. We both believe that raising awareness, talking openly about mental health and breaking down barriers will help police officers to recognise the signs and seek help. We are very used to hearing – “I’ll be OK”, “Sure it will be grand tomorrow”, in fact many of us have said that on many occasions. There is, however, only so many times you can say that before it becomes more and more difficult to cope. Knowing that there is someone out there who will listen without judging and having the confidence to trust and open up can be a game changer. Simply vocalising how you are feeling can help you realise that you are not on your own.

Where the problems run deeper we can point our colleagues to professional services of which there are many.

Sean Hannigan has worked closely with the ThinBlueLineUK on their imminent mental health guide and with the IPA’s assistance this will reach thousands of officers. This will help to raise awareness not only regarding the signs of mental health to look out for in ourselves but also encourage us to look out for each other; encourage us to talk and more importantly listen.

As we develop we will continue reaching officers through our force ambassadors. Awareness around mental health and what to look out for is better now than it has ever been but there is still so much to be done. We hope that this initial step is the first of many that we take as a charity to reach out to and help our colleagues.

All of us at the ThinBlueLineUK are delighted to be associated with Section UK – IPA and we look forward to when we can all properly meet and chat and develop our approach in this most important of topics.

Below is a link which will take you to the specially designed patch by the IPA. The ThinBlueLineUK gets a donation from every sale made.