Police play their part supporting those with mental health issues

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On World Mental Health Day 2018, ACT Policing is reminding everyone to make their mental health a priority.

Every day, a significant portion of ACT Policing’s work relates to supporting, assisting and guiding individuals living with mental health issues. Officers actively refer people to appropriate support services.

In the majority of cases, our assistance results in the person receiving specialist care from mental health professionals. In many situations advice is also provided to families and friends on how they can assist those who need support.

Deputy Chief Police Officer – Response Michael Chew said police attend a range of incidents related to mental health. These include cases where people have gone missing, checking on a person’s welfare and sadly, instances where someone has taken their own life.

“ACT Policing regularly receives calls of concern for the safety of individuals who may be experiencing mental health difficulties," Commander Chew said.

“Our goal in any situation is the safety of the individual. We always look to protect a person and minimise the risk of harm until appropriate care and support can be provided.”

Policing is an inherently difficult job, and officers are exposed to a range of stressful and mentally taxing situations. In addition to the wider community focus, this year ACT Policing wants its staff to reflect on their own mental health with the ‘Cuppa with a Colleague’ initiative.

“Today, officers in all stations will be encouraged to take ten minutes with a cup of tea (or coffee) and ask themselves if they are OK. If the answer is no, then we will provide every support available to assist them,” Commander Chew said.

There are a number of services that can provide information, advice and support relating to mental health matters. If you or someone you know is experiencing mental health issues, the following helplines are available 24/7.

  • Mental Health Triage service: 1800 629 354 or (02) 6205 1065
  • Lifeline: 13 11 14
  • Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800

Media enquiries

Police Media — (02) 6264 9460, act-police-media@afp.gov.au