The Backup Buddy Police Support app is designed to help with mental health issues.
The App covers a range of problems faced by officers and staff in the Police Service, such as anxiety, anger, depression, stress, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, eating disorders, self-harm and more.
It gives practical advice and support on how officers can maintain good mental health, spot warning signs for themselves and others, plus advice on how to get help for themselves and colleagues.
The App also includes officers’ own stories which users can relate to, leading to feeling less isolated.
General mental health tips are provided, as well as a directory of Useful Contacts and we have a facility to share your story – to help reduce the stigma in others.
The App is currently available for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, South Yorkshire, Sussex and Surrey Police officers and staff, with a further 3 forces under development. There are specific pathways mapped for help and support within Seach force, including 24hr support for officers and staff.
The app can be customised to reflect the unique identity of each (Police) Service. The information within can be tailored to suit every participating forces’ current pathways and protocols for officers seeking help. We want ‘Backup Buddy’ to be available to all officers in the UK, we want each Police Service to use the app to clearly signpost where their officers and staff can get help within their force 24 hours a day, from one easily accessible app.
Backup Buddy is supported by it’s Facebook and Twitter online presence. Our goal is to share stories and destroy stigma, where we can support each other and provide hope and guidance to anyone struggling with poor mental health… all to make a positive difference in policing.
We were featured on national TV in Sept. 2018 with Channel 5 News, highlighting one officer Malcolm who due to the Back Buddy App gained the confidence to seek support for his PTSD. It was because of the App, PC Malcolm realised he was not alone and other officers had gone through similar things.
Also, co-creator Sgt. Garry Botterill (learn more about us) was interviewed for the item and it was extremely well received.
It was a real milestone, not just for the App, but more importantly to get the Mental Health of our Police on national TV; reducing stigma even further.