Giving Police The Support They Need

31 May 2016

The Andrews Labor Government will stand with Victoria Police to improve the health and wellbeing of all staff, following the release of a landmark review into mental health in the force.

Police Minister Lisa Neville today joined Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton to release the Victoria Police Mental Health Review, which makes 39 recommendations to strengthen mental health services.

The review was led by clinical and organisational psychologist, Dr Peter Cotton, and is supported by retired Superintendent Peter Bull, senior health sector executive Nancy Hogan and research assistant Maryanne Lynch.

Ms Neville commended the Chief Commissioner for taking urgent action to boost mental health support services for all Victoria Police employees, both sworn and unsworn.

She said the Labor Government would stand with police to create better mental health outcomes across the organisation.

The review highlights the positive work that police have done to provide internal health and support services to staff, but acknowledges more needs to be done.

It makes 39 recommendations, including the need to increase the awareness and understanding of mental health issues, reduce the stigma and improved support services for people after they have left the force.

Victoria Police will now develop a comprehensive mental health strategy to address the issues and gaps identified in the review.

The Labor Government announced $500,000 in the Victorian Budget 2016/17 to deliver more mental health and wellbeing support for police to immediately address issues identified in the report.

This will build on the $300,000 in joint funding from the Government, Victoria Police and The Police Association to develop a smartphone app to give our police easy access to information and services.

Current and former police employees and their families in need of help can contact the 24-hour support line on (03) 9247 3344.

Members of the community in need of support can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 224 636.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Police Lisa Neville

“We stand side by side with Victoria Police to better support the mental health of staff across the organisation.”

Our police both sworn and unsworn dedicate their lives to protecting the community and we owe it to them to provide the support, assistance and treatment they need to deal with the overwhelming challenges of the job.”

“I commend the Chief Commissioner for his work to deliver a healthier and safer workplace. This review is a major step forward in strengthening mental health support across the force.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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