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Crime victims encouraged to seek help as nation marks Mental Health Awareness Week

POLICE and Crime Commissioner Darryl Preston is reminding victims and witnesses of crime about a new service he funds to improve mental wellbeing and recovery from trauma.

As the nation prepares to mark Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs from May 15-21, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough PCC highlighted the specialist mental health support available through his new partnership with mental health charity Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire Mind (CPSL Mind).

The service launched on 1st April 2023 at a cost of almost £209k over the next three years.

It sees wellbeing practitioners providing short-term support to victims and witnesses who have been affected by crime and includes advice and guidance around issues such as anxiety, sleeping and stress.

Adult victims or witnesses of crime who live in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough can be referred to the service by a professional. Once referred they will receive trauma-informed support and self-help resources in a way that best meets their needs, keeps them safe and empowers them to make their own decisions.

Darryl said: “I am proud to be supporting Mental Health Awareness Week again and helping to keep this important issue at the top of the national agenda. It’s a fantastic opportunity to highlight the services I fund to help witnesses and victims of crime recover and move on with their lives with confidence and resilience.

“Trauma can have a devastating impact on a person’s mental health and present a range of symptoms which can be difficult to live with or manage. Without specialist intervention or help, these can become worse over time and result in crisis.

“One of the key aims of this service is to help people understand that the symptoms they are experiencing are a normal reaction to trauma, and with support they can ultimately reverse them. When this happens, it is a life-changing moment and helps people move forward in a positive way and with hope. I would urge anyone who has suffered in the aftermath of crime, either as a witness or victim, to seek out or accept professional help because it will transform your life.”

Mental Health Awareness Week, led by the Mental Health Foundation, gets underway on May 15 under the theme ‘Anxiety’. The Foundation’s ‘Just Anxiety?’ campaign aims to help people and organisations understand the difference between anxiety and anxiety disorders and to signpost people to the right support. 

Darryl funds an array of support services to help victims of crime recover from their experiences. These are tailored to meet people’s individual needs and are part of a package of services provided under the umbrella of Cambridgeshire Victim Services.  Many people experience anxiety-related illnesses after a crime and a few people experience severe, longer-term symptoms known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you are finding it difficult to cope, contact the Victim & Witness Hub on 0800 781 6818 or email: More information can be found on the website: