Part of a nationwide Blue Light programme, led by charity Mind, the initiative was established after research showed members of the emergency services were more at risk of experiencing mental health issues than the general population but were less likely to seek support.
Operating to the same standards and operational procedures as the normal police force, the Harbour Police focus solely on the ports of Teesport and Hartlepool.
They detect crime and provide as safe an environment as possible whilst also protecting the Ports’ assets, personnel and commercial interests.
The Harbour Police became involved with the programme through close connections with Cleveland Police and have since created an action plan to tackle mental health stigma and offer support.
The action plan includes a poster campaign to raise awareness about mental health, demonstrating an open door policy for Harbour Police staff, establishing Blue Light Champions and launching wellness action plans.
Russ McCallion, PD Ports’ HR Director and Harbour Police Inspector Jim Bone signed the Blue Light Time to Change pledge to further highlight the Harbour Police’s commitment to its officers’ wellbeing.
Mr McCallion said: “As we have our own Police force at Teesport, it’s important for us to recognise the specialist needs these employees present and put in place the right framework to support these individuals.
“Being part of the Mind Blue Light programme allows us to join together with emergency services around the country to continue to tackle mental health stigma.”
Within the force, Harbour Police Sergeant Mick Robinson is leading on this programme with Harbour Police Constable Holly Fielding as a Blue Light Champion.
Photo caption: PD Ports HR Director, Russ McCallion signs the pledge with Harbour Police Inspector Jim Bone (left), Inspector Phil Spencer - Blue Light Programme Coordinator for Cleveland Police and Harbour Police Sergeant Mick Robinson.