INDEPENDENT NEWS

Review of mental health standards for recruiting

Published: Thu 26 Oct 2017 04:24 PM
Review of mental health standards for recruiting
Please attribute to Deputy Chief Executive: People, Kaye Ryan.
Police have completed a review of medical standards for applicants who wish to become recruits.
The mandatory automatic two year stand down period for applicants who are on, or have been on, anti-depressant medication is to be lifted and replaced by a case-by-case assessment.
Currently, applicants taking the medication for their mental health are not generally considered for recruitment.
The conclusion of the review means Police will now consider applications from people taking that type of medication, subject to an assessment of their condition.
In accordance with existing recruitment processes, all applicants are required to specify if they have been prescribed medication and to inform of Police of their medical history.
Any applicant taking anti-depressants would need to obtain a report from a registered clinical psychologist.
Those medical reports guide recruiters in making decisions about applicants. Whilst a stand down period may still be imposed, it would be determined by an assessment of the applicant’s individual circumstances and medical history.
Police made the decision to lift the two year stand down period after feedback from applicants and the public.
Police commissioned a report which was carried out by Professor of Psychiatry Robert Kydd of The University of Auckland.
The report was peer reviewed by other psychological medicine specialists.
The guidance to Police was that someone well maintained on medication may well be better able to make judgements than if they had an untreated condition.
Police are grateful to the experts for the review, the findings from which have been carefully considered and adopted by Police.
Police take the mental wellbeing of officers extremely seriously and put significant effort into ensuring the wellbeing of staff.
The nature of Police work means officers can come across incredibly distressing and challenging situations, which might trigger mental distress.
Police support those staff who might be suffering and have a number of measures in place, such as welfare officers, an Employee Assistance Programme and trauma referral following significant events.
ENDS

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