In September Police provided assistance in 239 mental health related incidents

Mental Health Week

ACT Policing is reminding the community that police are here to help this Mental Health Week.

A large proportion of the work ACT Policing undertakes involves a mental health element. Over the month of September, ACT Policing provided assistance in 239 mental health related incidents, an average of 60 per week.

Officer in Charge of Operations Sergeant John Wong said police attend a range incidents related to mental health, including missing persons, check welfares and unfortunately, suicides.

“ACT Policing regularly receives calls because of concerns for the safety of individuals who may be experiencing mental health difficulties.”

“While police are not mental health professionals, we aim to protect and minimise the risk of harm until appropriate care and support can be provided,” said Sergeant Wong.

ACT Policing partners the Mental Health Community Policing Initiative with ACT Health. This initiative aspires to provide a collaborative model of response between ACT Policing, ACT mental health workers and the ACT Ambulance Service when responding to mental health incidents.

ACT Policing acknowledge the medical care and dignity of persons suffering a mental health experience is paramount. In this regard, the mental health clinicians embedded in ACT Police Operations, together with clinicians from the Crisis Assessment and Treatment Team, form part of an important alliance with other elements of ACT Health to assist first responders and ultimately sufferers of a mental illness.

“ACT Policing delivers comprehensive recruit training to our members on how to best provide support as first responders. Frontline officers are also supported by ACT Health Senior Mental Health Clinicians working in ACT Policing Operations,” said Sergeant Wong.

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