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A new four-legged recruit has joined Durham Constabulary to help support officers and staff with their mental health.
Police officers and staff face many pressures in their demanding roles and can sometimes find themselves struggling with their mental health.
Ben is the force’s first Wellbeing and Trauma Support dog.
He will be carrying out duties with Durham’s Wellbeing and Welfare Team to support the delivery of trauma focused sessions and post-incident support across the organisation.
PCSO Claire Kerr and Ben will be available to any employee who may need signposting to other services available within the force.
Sergeant Garry Botterill, who is leading on the Wellbeing and Trauma Support Dogs Project, said: “By introducing trained support dogs and their handlers to frontline police officers and staff, it helps create an environment for conversations about their mental health and to highlight the relevant services which can provide help and support to those who need it.
“It’s incredibly important that people feel they can talk about their mental health, particularly in a job that presents people with challenging and traumatic situations.
“The dogs offer some light relief from the often difficult job we do, and anything that makes people feel positive and gets them talking should be encouraged.”
Good luck, Ben!