Sunday, August 6, 2017

Australia: Police Commission Says Cops Need Better Support for PTSD

Outgoing WA Police Commissioner says mentally injured cops need better support

ABC News Australia
By David Weber
August 11, 2017

"I think the second thing is being able to maintain contact with those people, and I think that part of the solution here will be the advent of workers compensation and redress for the people who haven't received it."

The WA Police Commissioner has admitted the service has not been good at identifying officers' mental health issues, and said he regrets not getting a workers compensation scheme up and running for victims in the state before leaving his post.

The union has long fought for a compensation scheme to cover medically-retired officers, who are currently dealt with under loss of confidence provisions.

Karl O'Callaghan said it had taken too long to publicly acknowledge the impact of mental health problems.

"We have not been good at acknowledging the role that mental health plays in an officer's ability to continue work," he said.

"One of the pieces of feedback we got from a lot of officers is they felt that once they weren't able to continue, that they were not part of the family.

"They were not kept in contact [with] and people didn't actually care about them.

"We could've done more to help those police officers feel like they still belonged and manage their movement out of the organisation into civilian life."

Commissioner O'Callaghan said a compensation scheme would also go some way towards assisting people forced to retire because their mental health was injured on the job.
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