Police Association urges officers to reach out for help
The President of the Police Service Social and Welfare Association says many police officers are hiding mental health issues from their colleagues out of fear of stigmatization.
Inspector Michael Seales made the comment following the passing of Corporal Ian Hamilton, who was found dead on Sunday morning by a colleague at work.
He is calling on his membership to forget about any stigmatization and seek out help.
“We have an organization of just over 7,000 officers, and we have too many persons suffering from depression, anxiety, stress, and other emotional problems. We even have officers who have suffered from domestic abuse, and rape, and other heinous things. Then there is the trauma endured from the duties itself, from facing criminals, from being shot at, or threatened. These are real people suffering from real issues,” he said.
Seales is also calling on officers to use the resources available to them.
“Now I will be the first to admit that the facilities we have are not ideal, and they need improvement. But they do exist. And I am pleading with officers to utilize them. There is a mentality in the police service still where persons believe they will be judged by their peers if they seek help. This mentality needs to change, along with any such judgemental behaviour if it does so exist, ”Seales said.
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