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Wellbeing rooms

A wellbeing room is a space to decompress, process thoughts and defuse between incidents.

Find out how to create a space that boosts the health and wellbeing of employees.

Read our guidance

What are wellbeing rooms

A dictionary definition of wellbeing is 'the state of being comfortable, healthy or happy'.

A wellbeing space is a quiet, work-free area, that police officers and staff can use to take time away from everyday stresses to relax and look after themselves.

The difference between this type of room verses a general quiet room is the look and feel of the room, including sensory items such as projected lights and a sound system. Sitting in this room, with the blackout blinds down, ambient lighting, soft music and warm blankets surrounding you, enables you to be transported into a calm and relaxing world so you feel like you have time to deal with your own thoughts.

The need for these types of spaces was highlighted in the Job and the Life survey where 56% of officers and staff said they
never or rarely have time to make sense of an incident before moving on to the next job - and this was closely linked to how well
people thought trauma was being managed in their force.

Police Care Rooms

In 2017 an officer in Lancashire approached Police Care UK with an idea. He needed a quiet space but there wasn’t an appropriate area in his station. In the end he got the force to agree to give him a space to adapt into something suitable and then applied to Police Care UK for funding towards the equipment and furniture to go in the room.

Whilst there was some anecdotal evidence on the benefits of these rooms, we wanted to know more and established the Police Care Rooms Project and set out to test the difference these rooms really make.

The project

We partnered with Kent Police and two divisions in Police Scotland: Highlands and Islands Division, and Dumfries and Galloway Division. 16 rooms were identified in Kent and 18 across the two divisions in Scotland and we provided the items needed to create a suitable wellbeing space. On average we spent just over £1,250 per room.

To test the effect these rooms, a pre and post survey was conducted as well as collecting room usage forms. The pre survey was circulated in June – July 2019 and the same questions were used and circulated in April 2021 – August 2021.

We'll be publishing the full research on this project soon.

 

"It means having a well needed place to rest and reset your mind which can become very overworked and overstressed within this job on a more regular basis than when compared to other jobs..." Call Dispatcher, 18 - 24 years old

Create your own wellbeing room

  • We recommend non corporate furniture, such as sofas, armchairs and floor cushions
  • Side lamps and tables add ambience and atmosphere
  • Keep it spacious to allow space for stretching and yoga
  • If the room has a window, consider blackout blinds to help create a relaxing space
  • Other items should be made available to cater to different needs/taste, including SAD light, Stress Balls,thinking putty,
    bubble wrap and other sensory/relaxation items
  • Think about including wellbeing literature, books, and a place to display information highlighting further support available.

Things to consider:

  • Think carefully where the room should be placed within a station; somewhere quiet and private.
  • Ensure that the space is maintained properly, and kept in a clean and tidy manner
  • Eliminate the use of chemicals in the space (i.e. harmful cleaning products)
  • We recommend not to lock the room so it can be accessible 24/7
  • Consider establishing rules of use to avoid staff treating as a break area, i.e. no eating
  • Try to ensure the longevity of the room. Removing the room once it has been established can have a detrimental effect on perceived support from a force.
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