To investigate early intervention in mental illnesses for serving police and peer support for former police employees

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To investigate early intervention in mental illnesses for serving police and peer support for former police employees featured image

The following recommendations are not directed solely at Victoria Police and can be considered as relevant to any emergency service or other organisation.

1. Legislation to be considered for all diagnosed mental illnesses found to have been caused by the workplace, or from the attendance at a single traumatic event or due to the cumulative effect of attending numerous events.

2. Internal policy to mandate visits to a psychologist in the event of an employee/s involvement in nominated critical incidents, such as an officer involved in a shooting, or their attendance at traumatic events.

3. The establishment of a safe, comfortable and confidential retreat (West Coast Post Trauma Retreat) or treatment centre type facility (Police Treatment Centre) where employees can attend to receive clinical treatment, peer support and education on health, lifestyle, nutrition and mental health.

4. Victoria Police Wellbeing Services and other relevant work units to be re-located into premises not externally identified or within a police building or complex.

5. All internal police psychology staff to be trained in EMDR therapy to gain a better understanding of its function and application.

6. Consideration to implement a proactive health and wellbeing program, such as ‘The Real You’ program adopted by the Ottawa Police Service.

7. All newly promoted employees from the rank of sergeant and above to receive an electronic information pack outlining roles and responsibilities in relation to the health and wellbeing of themselves and their staff.

8. A family member at each graduation ceremony to receive a pack that includes relevant publications and information around mental health and support services.

9. Consideration for Victoria Police to issue all employees with mobile phones containing wellbeing apps and contacts for internal and external support services.

10. Key tags listing contact details for Wellbeing Services be made an accessory to every set of car keys issued to Victoria Police.

11. Victoria Police Wellbeing Services contact details to be displayed prominently on mouse pads in every workplace as well as on every computer home screen.

12. All employees to be required to expend their long service leave within a nominated time frame from its accrual date.

13. Consideration for employees to be given the option to cash out a certain percentage or invest portions of their sick leave entitlement into health insurance premiums on retirement or when exiting from Victoria Police.

14. Facilitate a visit to Victoria Police by senior officers from the Newtown Police Department (USA) in the wake of their involvement in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012. These presentations can be recorded and utilised as an online education tool in future years. Keywords: Police, First responders, Law enforcement, Mental health, Help seeking, Peer support, Psychologist, Stigma, Early intervention.

Fellow

Greg Dean

Greg Dean

VIC
2017

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