The London police services board has approved a plan to add more supports for mental health – thanks to board member Dr. Javeed Sukhera.
The new plan will allow officers to be trained for mental health cases and calls, and still get them the help they need by hiring a full time psychologist.
“The topic of police officer mental health is something that’s often been in the shadows.” Sukhera continues “We wouldn’t be having this conversation 10 years ago.”
Front line officers and other first responders are expected to serve and protect, but often face many challenges that lead to mental illness. “If you work in a culture where, the culture encourages you to be super human, and forgets the fact that you might have your own humanity, theres actually consequences for that.” said Sukhera ” Doing work with people that are struggling, can actually be a heavy weight to carry” says Sukhera
Mental health is huge in our society, although Sukhera feels it is still not taken as seriously as other illnesses. He says that mental illness is “under -resourced ” and “major reforms are needed particularly in health care.”
Sukhera says that the plan to add mental health supports will have a more lasting effect on future officers, seeing as the motion will have been in affect for more time. He hopes that these services will be useful to officers and help end the stigma against getting help. “You can build all the supports you need, but if theres still a stigma against getting help, then it’s not going to land anywhere.”