Australia: We applaud the NSW Police Force for proceeding to ‘go it alone’ and include officers who lose their life by suicide on the Wall of Remberance.
A no-doubt contentious criteria will have to be established. But just because something is difficult is not a reason not to the right thing.
Many first responders give their all in the service of others, and that can take a heavy toll. Seeing things most people would never see in a lifetime, many will fall ill and, before their mental health can be treated and improved, take their lives.
In many cases there is strong, clear and direct link to the trauma and stress they suffer in the line of duty. Evidence of this is in the alarming suicide rates of first responders.
In other cases, it is no so clear. Mental illness can gradual, delayed and triggered and becomes a mix of PTSD, anxiety and depression. If become difficult to know what is the cause or effect. But we do know Service suicide rates are too high. Many, most or nearly all could be work related suicides.
Establishing the criteria will be difficult… but just because it is difficult, does not mean it should be done. Read the full ABC News article here:
The ABC New article by Lorna Knowles goes into say NSW Police Commissioner Scipione acknowledged that post traumatic stress disorder was a big problem for police services across the nation.
‘We need to front up to it’
“It’s real, it exists, we need to front up to it,” he said.
“We need to make sure we have the resources around those that are suffering from it. Because this is about giving them a road to recovery. This is about having people that are well get well.
“I think it’s critical for an organisation like mine that we continue to endeavour to do better.”
Mr Scipione said he was keen to break down the stigma attached to mental illness and encouraged any police officer suffering from the symptoms of PTSD to come forward and seek help.
“My heart goes out to those that are suffering. There but for the grace of God goes all of us, because that’s the type of work we are involved in.
“So my word of encouragement would be: ‘You matter. You count. We care and we want you to come forward and tell us. Do as soon as you possibly can because we want to get you better’.”
If you or anyone you know needs help in Australia: