Destigmatising mental health and asking for help
Everyone deserves to work in an environment that promotes positive mental health and wellbeing. WA Police Force is working hard to improve employee and manager understanding of mental health, and recognise that asking for help is an act of strength, not weakness.
Having a mental health condition is not something anyone should feel ashamed about. All employees need to feel they can get the help they need without the added pressure of feeling judged. Everyone deserves to feel supported.
The challenging role police undertake is reflected in the higher incidence of psychological distress. Beyond Blue’s 2018 national survey of police and emergency services personnel highlighted that 1 in 3 experience high or very high psychological distress, with more than 2 in 5 reporting they have been diagnosed with a mental health condition in their life.
The first step towards a healthier state of mind is being prepared to ask for help. We have noticed that not enough police officers identify they might need a hand and are prepared to seek help. That is why we need to act together to ensure a strong network of support from management, team mates and you as their family.
Asking for help opens up a range of helpful options, strategies and opportunities that your loved one may not have had access to in the past.
Talking to a psychologist can provide the chance to have another person understand what they’re going through as they are well equipped to support your loved one to implement strategies to work through concerns. Discussions with medical professionals and psychologists are confidential. The only exception to this is if there is a genuine safety concern, as these professionals have a duty of care to act to ensure no-one is harmed, including themselves.
The sooner we can encourage access to the support they need, the sooner they can get back to enjoying daily life and work activities.