Police are planning to roll out a new mental health scheme after hypnotherapy proved successful in a pilot trial.

The trial helped Northumbria Police staff experiencing anxiety and depression recover, with 80 per cent losing all symptoms. 

The scheme used Solution Focused Hypnotherapy, SFH, which uses the best parts from a range of therapies including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, CBT, and Neuro-Linguistic Processing, NLP, to help their patients. 

A report on the trial was written by Dr Emma Treby who hasworked with police staff and Gary Johannes, a clinical hypnotherapist and lecturer based in Peterborough from Inspired to Change, which sponsored the scheme,.

According to the report, by the end of the trial run everyone who completed the treatment reported getting better and nearly 80 per cent no longer showed symptoms such as disturbed sleep, hyper vigilance, self-medicating and anger issues. 

Over 80 per cent showed an increase in their life wellness score and more than 90 per cent had improved sleep. 

Those who took part in the trial also no longer exhibited symptoms of PTSD yet the majority were unaware they even had PTSD despite it having impacts on their health and ability to function. 

Additionally, following treatment staff said they could better maintain perspective, cope with challenges, were calmer and had improved sleep and found improvements to their professional life personal life.  

This shows promise for the future of mental health care in police staff should the pilot move to a full programme as mental health affects around 70 per cent of police officers and more than half required some form of therapy, according to a survey. 

And as the charity for serving and veteran police officers and staff, Police Care, found, many did not get help due to a fear of feeling or being seen as vulnerable and that perception possibly leading to career damage. 

Gary said: “Working in an emergency service is a rewarding and invaluable role, but it is undoubtedly challenging.” 

The challenging nature is undoubtedly attributed to officers being more frequently exposed to traumatic events from road traffic collisions to murders and higher likelihood to experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder compared to people working in other jobs. 

“While we cannot remove the stresses and trauma they face on a regular basis, SFH can provide them with the tools to manage it effectively and long term.” 

Helen Murphy, people partnering and wellbeing lead at Northumbria police, said: “We saw a marked positive change in those who took part in the pilot, as a result of the sessions. 

“They were more comfortable talking about their mental health, said they enjoyed better relationships and have been more effective at work.” 

SFH is seen as a potential stronger alternative to psychotherapeutic therapy. 

This is due to the fact that while psychotherapeutic therapies may reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, more than 50 per cent of clients actually don’t respond to that kind of treatment according to several studies. 

However, according to this report made from data collected from police staff clientele, SFH has high uptake and good outcomes. 

Because of this, there are plans to roll out the treatment to other police forces and emergency services in the country. 

SFH also has the potential to support staff, while decreasing millions of pounds in costs at the same time. 

By improving the mental health care available to the Police, less money is used relating to sickness, absence and lack of productivity related to mental health issues among staff. 

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy was developed by the Clifton Hypnotherapy Practice and Clifton Practice Hypnotherapy Training School founder, David Newton. 

There are now training schools located internationally and many therapists have contributed outcome data collected from over 7,500 clients and more than 40,000 clinical hours which further suggest that SFH could be a promising treatment method for anxiety and depression. 

As well as one that focusses on the reduction of symptoms and improvement of wellness and resilience. 

For more information on the report, visit: inspiredtochange.biz